Family history

A significant family history is the strongest individual risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

A significant family history is the strongest individual risk factor for the development of breast cancer. However, determining which women are at increased risk can be difficult because it depends upon the number, age and sex of affected relatives as well as the degree of relatedness. Ovarian cancer is also closely associated with breast cancer. Other malignancies that may have a heritable link with breast cancer include prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of breast cancer in the UK is sporadic and inheritance of cancer-predisposing genes only contributes to 4-5% of all breast cancer cases. Nevertheless, it is also vital to identify those women who are at high-risk of developing breast cancer so that they can make the choices to protect themselves and their family if they so wish.

Quick facts

Breast Cancer represented
0%
of all new cancer cases in 2017 and is the most common cancer in women, globally
In UK women, around
0
new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2017
0%
of breast cancers were in women under 50, between 2015-2017
0%
of breast cancers occurred in women over 75 between 2015-2017