What can cause breast cancer?

One in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifetime, but not everyone’s risk is the same.

Some people will have a higher or lower risk than others. Our chances of developing breast cancer depend on a combination of our genes and bodies, lifestyle and life choices and the surrounding environment.

You can’t change some things that affect your risk, such as getting older, being a woman and your family history. But there are other things you can change.

This section discusses the steps you can take to reduce your risk and clears up some of the myths about the causes of breast cancer.

The main breast cancer risks

What are the main risk factors for breast cancer?

How can I reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Find out what lifestyle choices you can make to help lower breast cancer risk.

Family history of breast cancer guide

Find out more about our guide to UK services for people with a family history of breast cancer.

Other breast cancer risk factors

How lifestyle, our genes and bodies, and environmental can affect the risk of breast cancer.