Risk factors

Am I at risk? Age and being female are the biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer. 9 out of 10 women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer.

Cancer Australia Risk Calculator

If you have not had a breast or ovarian cancer before, you can use the Cancer Australia Risk Calculator to understand your risk of breast cancer.

Ask your doctor about your risk of breast cancer and your need for breast cancer screening.

Family History

When members of the same family have been diagnosed with the same disease, it is natural to wonder if it is due to an inherited factor.

Your family history does become more important when:

  • more than one relative on the same side of your family (mother’s or father’s side) has been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • relatives with breast cancer are closer to you (e.g. your sister, rather than your cousin) and were under 50 years of age when first diagnosed
  • those relatives are males diagnosed with breast cancer
  • those relatives have breast cancer in both breasts and/or have both breast and ovarian cancer.

For a small number of women, the nature of their family history may require them to attend more frequently for a screening mammogram. We recommend that women with a strong family history of breast cancer talk to their doctor about their risk.

For more information, please see our resource Information for women with a family history of breast cancer.





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