At present, the factors known to increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer include age (a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer increase as she gets older), a family history of breast cancer, an early age at first menstrual period, a late age at menopause, a late age at the time of birth of her first full-term baby, and certain breast conditions. Obesity is also a risk factor for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. More information about breast cancer risk factors is found in NCI’s publication What You Need To Know About™ Breast Cancer.
Important Information About Identifying Breast Cancer
NCI recommends that, beginning in their 40s, women receive mammography screening every year or two. Women who have a higher than average risk of breast cancer (for example, women with a family history of breast cancer) should seek expert medical advice about whether they should be screened before age 40, and how frequently they should be screened.