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Breast Cancer in Young Women:
Who Has a Higher Risk?

Photo of three women

Some young women are at a higher risk for getting breast cancer at an early age compared with other women their age. If you are a woman under age 45, you may have a higher risk if—

  • You have close relatives (parents, siblings, or children) who were diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer when they were younger than 45, especially if more than one relative was diagnosed or if a male relative had breast cancer.
  • You have changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), or have close relatives with these changes.
  • You have an Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
  • You were treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest during childhood or early adulthood.
  • You have had breast cancer or certain other breast health problems such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia, or atypical lobular hyperplasia.
  • You have been told that you have dense breasts on a mammogram.
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