Who Does Breast Cancer Affect?

who does breast cancer affect.

One in Eight Women

Breast cancer predominately affects women. About 207,090 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women (excluding skin cancer). Roughly one in eight women have the chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Older Age

The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age with most women being diagnosed at 50 years of age or older. Only five percent of breast cancers occur in women younger than 40 years old.


White women have the highest incidence of breast cancer, followed by Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native women, respectively.

Family History

The risk of developing breast is higher in women who have close relatives with the disease. Having a mother, sister, or daughter, referred to as a first-degree relative, doubles a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Having two first-degree relatives, such as a mother and sister with breast cancer, increases risk by about three-fold.

Being Previously Pregnant

Breast cancer risk is reduced in women who have several pregnancies or have become pregnant at a young age. In women who have had no children or had a child after age 30 have a slightly higher risk for developing breast cancer.


While it mainly affects women, breast cancer can occur in men. There are approximately 1,970 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in men each year. About 390 men die each year from the disease.

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