Breast cancer risk

For women with an average risk

Chart with 100 figures to represent women, with 13 figures highlighted showing average risk for breast cancer
slide 1 of 3
    
slide 1 of 3, For women with an average risk,

Chart based on National Cancer Institute (2020). SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975–2017. http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2017/. Accessed July 31, 2020.

On average, about 13 out of 100 women will get breast cancer sometime during their lives. A woman's risk may be higher or lower depending on different factors. Getting older and being female are the two main risk factors linked to breast cancer. Other risks include having a family history of breast cancer, having breast changes or a breast disease that isn't cancer, being white, and drinking alcohol. Hormones such as estrogen may also play a part in some types of breast cancer.

For women who have BRCA1 gene changes

Chart with 100 figures to represent women, with 72 women highlighted showing breast cancer risk for women with BRCA1 gene changes
slide 2 of 3
    
slide 2 of 3, For women who have BRCA1 gene changes,

Chart based on Kuchenbaecker KB, et al. (2017). Risks of breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. JAMA, 317(23): 2402–2416. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.7112. Accessed August 5, 2020.

Some women have BRCA1 gene changes. Their risk of getting breast cancer is higher than average. For these women, about 72 out of 100 of them will get breast cancer by age 80.

For women who have BRCA2 gene changes

Chart with 100 figures to represent women, with 69 figures highlighted showing breast cancer risk for women with BRCA2 gene changes
slide 3 of 3
    
slide 3 of 3, For women who have BRCA2 gene changes,

Chart based on Kuchenbaecker KB, et al. (2017). Risks of breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. JAMA, 317(23): 2402–2416. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.7112. Accessed August 5, 2020.

Some women have BRCA2 gene changes. Their risk of getting breast cancer is higher than average. For these women, about 69 out of 100 of them will get breast cancer by age 80.

Current as of: December 17, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Wendy Y. Chen MD, MPH MD, MPH - Medical Oncology, Hematology
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine