High socioeconomic status (SES) is most often defined by:
- High income and/or
- High education level
High SES has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer [359-365].
This increased risk is not related to higher SES itself. It’s related to differences in risk factors found in women with different education and income levels [359-365].
For example, compared to women with lower SES, studies show women with higher SES are more likely to [359-363]:
- Drink more alcohol
- Have fewer children
- Have their first child at a later age
- Use birth control pills
- Use menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormones)
Each of these factors is related to an increased risk of breast cancer [359-363,365].
Learn about other risk factors for breast cancer.
Socioeconomic status and breast cancer screening and treatment
SES may also affect how likely a woman is to get breast cancer screening and how likely she is to have access to timely and high-quality care. For example, women who have health insurance are more likely than women who don’t have health insurance to get mammograms .
Learn more about breast cancer screening among different groups of women.
Learn about Susan G. Komen®’s commitment to health equity.