Risks and causes of breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Some of the things that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer include being overweight or obese, alcohol, getting older, family history and inherited genes.

Find out more about these risks and other factors that can increase or reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

Risk factors

Factors that increase the risk of breast cancer include getting older and inherited faulty genes. Read about these and other risk factors.

Protective factors

Some factors can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Family history of breast cancer and inherited genes

Some people have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general population because other members of their family have had particular cancers. Find out more.

Last reviewed: 
27 Apr 2023
Next review due: 
27 Apr 2026
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer