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Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Most women who develop breast cancer do not have known risk factors, but some factors may increase the chance of developing this disease. One of these risk factors is age — more than 75 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over age 50. Other factors include:

  • Early onset of menstruation.
  • Family history of breast cancer in your mother or sister.
  • Hormone replacement therapy with estrogen and progesterone.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • A personal history of breast cancer or prior breast biopsy for benign disease.