My Risk for Breast Cancer

While evaluating if you are at an increased risk for breast cancer, multiple factors play a role – some are controllable, while others are not. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult and confusing to determine what your own risk may be. You should consult with your physician to discuss your specific risks and appropriate plan for screening.

  • Age - Risk increases with age.
  • Genetic mutation - Inherited changes in certain genes including BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase risk.
  • Mammographic breast density.
  • Family history - A woman's chances of developing breast cancer increases if her mother, sister and/or daughter have been diagnosed with the disease - especially if they were diagnosed before age 50. Having a close male blood relative with breast cancer also increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Race - In the U.S., breast cancer is diagnosed more often in white women than in African American/black, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native Women.
  • Personal history - Women who have had breast cancer are more likely to develop a second breast cancer.
  • Certain breast changes found on biopsy.
  • Radiation Therapy - Women who have had radiation therapy to the chest, including the breasts, before age 30 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer throughout their lives.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Reproductive and menstrual history - Women who had their first menstrual period before age 12 or went through menopause after 55 have an increased risk. Also at increased risk are women who had their first full-term pregnancy after age 30 or who have never had a full-term pregnancy.
  • Long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy.
  • DES - Women who took DES - a drug given to women to prevent miscarriage between 1940 and 1971 - have a slightly increased risk. Women exposed to DES in utero - meaning whose mothers took DES while they were pregnant - may have a slightly increased risk after age 40.
  • Obesity.
  • Physical activity level - Women who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased risk.

For a referral to a RWJBarnabas Health primary care physician or breast specialist, call 888-724-7123.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Howell
4013 Route 9
Suite 2S
Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Lakewood
600 River Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Colts Neck
310 Route 34 South
Second Floor
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 923-7700
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The Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center at Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-7700
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Westfield
560 Springfield Ave
Westfield, NJ 07090
(973) 322-7020
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Metuchen
173 Essex Ave
Metuchen, NJ 08840
(732) 494-0415
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Center for Breast Health and Disease Management - Livingston
200 South Orange Avenue
Suite 102
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7020
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Community Medical Center Women's Imaging Center - Toms River
368 Lakehurst Rd
1st Floor
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8146
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Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
200 South Orange Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-7000
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