What affects your chances of getting breast cancer.

Options for Women at Higher Risk

Some risk factors put women at a high risk of breast cancer.

Women at higher risk of breast cancer

Factors linked to a high risk of breast cancer include [163]:

Some factors are linked to a modest increase in breast cancer risk (such as usual hyperplasia). Having more than one of these factors may also put a woman at high risk.

Talk with your health care provider about your risk of breast cancer.

Learn more about estimating breast cancer risk.

Breast cancer screening

There are special screening guidelines for some women at higher than average risk of breast cancer [39,163].

If you’re at higher than average risk of breast cancer, talk with your health care provider about the screening plan that’s best for you. You may need to be screened earlier and more often than other women.

Learn more about breast cancer screening for women at higher risk.

Risk-lowering options for women who do not have breast cancer

If you have a high risk of breast cancer, options to lower your risk may include:

Talk with your health care provider about the pros and cons of these options. You may want to get a second opinion.

Take the time to make decisions that are right for you. Don’t feel you need to rush. 

Insurance issues and financial assistance

If you have insurance issues (such as what to do if a claim is denied) or need help paying for genetic testing, risk-lowering drugs or other out-of-pocket expenses, there are resources that may help.

Learn about insurance and financial assistance programs.

Prescription drug assistance

Medicare and many insurance companies offer prescription drug plans. One may already be included in your policy. Or you may be able to buy an extra plan for prescriptions.

You may also qualify for assistance from programs that help with drug costs or offer low-cost or free prescriptions.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans (started on or after September 24, 2014) to cover the cost (with no co-payments) of the risk-lowering drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene for women at high risk of breast cancer. Learn more about this coverage.

Generic drugs are available. Generic drugs cost less than name brand drugs but are just as effective.

Learn more about prescription drug assistance programs.

Komen Financial Assistance Program

Susan G. Komen® offers the Komen Financial Assistance Program to eligible individuals undergoing breast cancer treatment at any stage or living with metastatic breast cancer (stage 4).

To learn more about this program and other helpful resources, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or email helpline@komen.org.

Se habla español.

Susan G. Komen® Support Resources

  • Do you need more information about breast cancer risk factors? We’re here for you. The Komen Patient Care Center is your trusted, go-to source for timely, accurate breast health and breast cancer information, services and resources. Our navigators offer free, personalized support for you and your loved ones including education, emotional support, financial assistance, help accessing care and more. Get connected to a Komen navigator by contacting the Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or email helpline@komen.org to get started. All calls are answered Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to 7 p.m. ET and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Se habla español.
  • The Komen Breast Cancer and Komen Metastatic (Stage IV) Breast Cancer Facebook groups are places where those with breast cancer and their family and friends can talk with others for friendship and support.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

Updated 04/23/24