Age and Breast Cancer Risk
Age is an established risk factor for breast cancer. The older a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer.
Rates of breast cancer are low in women under 40. Fewer than five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. are younger than 40 .
Rates begin to increase after age 40 and are highest in women over age 70 (see Figure 2.1 below).
Age and breast cancer in men
Age is also a risk factor for breast cancer in men. The older a man is, the more likely he is to get breast cancer. However, breast cancer is much less common in men than in women (see Figure 2.1 below).
The median age of diagnosis of breast cancer for men in the U.S. is 68 .
Why does age increase the risk of breast cancer?
The older we get, the more likely it is that abnormal changes will occur in our cells. When many of these changes occur, cancer can develop.