Skip to content

Breast Cancer Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer


What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer? continued...

Low risk

  • Pregnancy before age 18
  • Early onset of menopause
  • Surgical removal of the ovaries before age 37

Factors not related to breast cancer

  • Fibrocystic breast changes
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Coffee or caffeine intake
  • Use of anti-perspirants
  • Wearing underwire bras
  • Having an abortion or miscarriage
  • Using breast implants

Scientists are still investigating whether smoking, high-fat diets, lack of exercise, and environmental pollution increase breast cancer risk. Some studies have suggested that women who are using birth control pills have a very slight increased risk of developing breast cancer. That risk disappears after stopping them for 10 years or more. Still other studies show no relation. More research is under way to confirm these findings.

Women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on July 01, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow