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What Causes Breast Cancer?

There are many different things that can increase your risk of breast cancer — some you may be able to control and others you can’t. For instance, just being female is the single greatest risk factor. While men may also get breast cancer, women are about a hundred times more likely to develop the disease.

The Big Picture

Learn more about the factors that can contribute to the development of cancer in Your Guide to Cancer Care.

Getting older also increases risk. According to the National Cancer Institute, women from 30 to 39 have about a 1 in 233 chance of developing breast cancer. The risk increases to 1 in 69 for women 40 to 49, and to 1 in 28 for women 50 to 59. The incidence is 1 in 27 for women 60 though 69, and jumps to 1 in 8 for women 80 and older.

Keep in mind, though, that just because you are at risk, you’re not necessarily fated to develop breast cancer. On the other hand, even if you make healthy lifestyle choices and are otherwise not at high risk for breast cancer, it’s still possible to develop the disease. In fact, in many cases, doctors don’t know precisely why breast cancer develops.

Learn more about breast cancer risks below:

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