Risk Factors

The two most common risk factors for breast cancer are:

  • Being female
  • Getting Older

All women are at risk for breask cancer. Although rare, younger women can also get breast cancer. Five percent of breast cancers occur in women under age 40. However, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death from any type of cancer among women ages 20-59. While breast cancer risk is generally much lower among younger women, certain genetic factors can put some women at higher risk. Women who are diagnosed at a younger age may have BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation. Women who carry one of these gene mutations have an increased risk of both breast and ovarian cancers. No matter your age, you should become familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice any changes, see your physician immediately.


Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In 2014, it is estimated that among U.S. men there will be:

  • 2,360 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed
  • 430 men who die from breast cancer