Risk Factors

While the cause of breast cancer is not known at present, there are many risk factors for women to consider.

  • The number of lifetime menstrual cycles—being young when menstruation begins and/or going through late menopause
  • Never giving birth or giving birth at a later age; not breastfeeding
  • Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
  • Family history of breast cancer (mother, sister, daughter)
  • Genetic mutations in the breast cancer related genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Radiation treatment to the breast/chest
  • Getting older
  • Drinking more than 1 alcoholic drink each day
  • Lack of regular exercise
  • Weight management challenges—overweight women are at increased risk for post-menopausal breast cancer

To learn more about your personal risk of breast cancer, take a risk assessment offered by the National Cancer Institute.

There also is a link between breast cancer and ovarian cancer. More information can be found in the Risk Awareness section of our web site.


September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.


Read the 2015 Fact Sheet: The Role of Heredity in Gynecologic Cancer


The Foundation is featured in the Sept. issues of Coping, Women and Family Circle magazines. Look out for our articles & ads!


Research Prize applications are due 10/28. Click here to apply for one of the 7 available prizes.


The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course is Nov. 7 in Washington, D.C. For more information, click here.