Factors relating to the breast itself

A three-star rating system has been used to give you an indication of the level of breast cancer risk associated with the factors below.  The greater the number of stars, the higher the risk.

A previous breast condition Rating starRating starRating star

Being previously diagnosed with a non-invasive breast condition such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), is associated with an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

Breast density Rating starEmpty rating starEmpty rating star

Increased breast density is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.1,2

Your breast density is something that can only be seen on a mammogram. A mammogram of a woman with dense breasts will appear much like white cotton wool. A mammogram of a woman with less dense breasts will appear more grey and transparent. Breast density cannot be measured by physical breast examination.

At this time, there is no consensus about the most effective way to manage breast density.3

Research to better quantify breast density and identify the reasons why women of the same age differ so much in breast density, may lead to a better understanding of breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer.


  1. McCormack, V.A. and I. dos Santos Silva. (2006) ‘Breast density and parenchymal patterns as markers of breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis.’ Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 15(6): 1159-69.
  2. Pettersson, A., et al. (2014). ‘Mammographic density phenotypes and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis.’ Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 106(5): dju078
  3. Ng, K-H and Lau, S. (2015). ‘Vision 20/20: Mammographic breast density and its clinical applications.’ Med Phys 42(12):7059-7077. doi: 0094-2405/2015/42(12)/7059/19