Preventing Breast Cancer 

Some people are at higher risk for breast cancer due to genetics, age, medical history or unhealthy lifestyle habits. No matter your risk level for breast cancer, you can lower your risk by taking protective actions. The key risk factors and ways you can reduce your risk are outlined below.

Risk factors for breast cancer


People with a family history of breast cancer are at higher risk. You are considered to have a family history of breast cancer if you have a first-degree female relative (sister, mother or daughter) who has or has had breast cancer. Your risk of breast cancer doubles if you’ve had one first degree relative with breast cancer and increases even more significantly if you’ve had two or more first-degree relatives with breast cancer.



  • Reproductive history resulting in greater exposure to estrogen
  • Taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause
  • Radiation therapy done on the breast or chest


  • Obesity
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking

Ways to reduce risk of breast cancer