In this section, you’ll get a better understanding of factors that may affect your risk of getting breast cancer and what to do if you're at higher risk.
Factors That Affect Breast Cancer Risk
Factors That Do Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk
Factors Under Study
Breast Cancer Risk Factors Table
Understanding Risk Reduction
Race and Ethnicity
Breast Cancer Risk Among Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Women
Breast Cancer and The Environment
Estimating Breast Cancer Risk
Emerging Areas in Risk Reduction and Estimating Risk
Early Life Exposures and Breast Cancer Risk
Questions for Your Provider
Genetic Counseling and Genetic Testing
Risk-Lowering Options for Women at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Screening for Women at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Screening for Men at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer
The data in this section come from 2 main types of research studies:
The goal of these studies is to give information that helps support or disprove an idea about a possible link between an exposure (such as alcohol use) and an outcome (such as breast cancer) in people.
Although they have the same goal, observational studies and randomized controlled trials differ in:
Learn more about different types of research studies.
Animal studies add to our understanding of how and why some factors cause cancer in people.
However, there are many differences between animals and people, so it makes it hard to translate findings directly from one to the other.
Animal studies are also designed differently. They often look at exposures in larger doses and for shorter durations than are suitable for people.
While animal studies can lay the groundwork for research in people, we need human studies to draw conclusions for people.
All data presented within the About Breast Cancer section of this website come from studies done with people.
Susan G. Komen® has up-to-date information on many established, probable and possible risk factors for breast cancer (and information on many factors shown not to increase risk).
Other organizations conduct research and/or prepare detailed summary reports of research on certain factors shown to have a link (or no link) to breast and other types of cancer, including:
IARC is a part of the World Health Organization. The CDC, NTP and FDA are all part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Breast Cancer 101 - Risk Factors
Facts for Life: Breast Cancer & Risk
Research Fast Facts: Breast Cancer Inequities