Understanding Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Upland and Susan G. Komen are committed to providing education to learn about your breast cancer risk and empower you to make important breast care decisions to take charge of your life. While the metaverse allows you to enrich your digital life, it can also provide a gateway to improving your real life. Learn more about your risk for breast cancer.

Everyone is at risk of breast cancer, and some of us are at a higher risk than others. Your breast health journey starts with knowledge. Whether you’re concerned about your risk of breast cancer, have a history of breast cancer or other cancers in your family, or are curious about genetic testing, the first step is learning more about risk. 

Susan G. Komen Breast Self-Awareness Messages

1. Learn About Your Risk Factors

Talk with both sides of your family to learn about your family health history
Talk with a health care provider about your risk of breast cancer 

2. Get screened

Talk with a health care provider about which screening tests are right for you if you’re at higher risk   
Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you’re at average risk 
Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40 

3. Know what is normal for you and see a health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images): 

Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area 
Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast 
Change in the size or shape of the breast 
Dimpling or puckering of the skin 
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple 
Pulling in of the nipple or other parts of the breast 
Nipple discharge that starts suddenly 
New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away 

 4. Make healthy lifestyle choices 

Maintain a healthy weight 
Make exercise part of your routine 
Limit alcohol intake 
Limit menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use) 
Breastfeed if you can 

5. Access Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

Breast Care Helpline

The Komen Breast Care Helpline offers caring and compassionate support to help meet the needs of all people concerned about breast health. The Helpline provides trustworthy information about breast health and breast cancer, emotional support, access to screening and diagnostic services, financial support, information about clinical trials and more. Contact the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or [email protected]. All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. Se habla español.

Social media

Follow Komen on social or join a Komen Facebook group to connect with the Komen community and learn more about breast health education.

Interactive tool
Watch our interactive Breast Cancer 101 interactive tool to learn more about breast cancer risk factors.

Educational Resources
Our fact sheets, booklets and other educational resources offer additional information about breast cancer risk factors.

About Susan G. Komen®

About one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, making breast cancer one of the most common cancers affecting women in the U.S. Most people diagnosed with breast cancer will live for many years. In fact, there are more than 4 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. (more than any other group of cancer survivors). Susan G. Komen is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information.
Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.