Large Breasts and Breast Cancer

John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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My girlfriend believes that she has heard that there is an increased risk of breast cancer among women with larger than average breasts. She is also under the impression that having her breasts reduced would lower that risk.

I am wondering if you (or someone you could refer me to) are aware of any studies which might support or refute these hypotheses.  
Thank you very much,

Kenneth Blank, MD and Leonard Farber, MD, Editorial Assistants for Oncolink, respond:

Dear OncoLink Reader:  
Thank you for your question. We are not aware of any studies that relate the size of a women's breast to the risk of breast cancer nor breast reduction surgery to decreasing that risk. Several well known risk factors exist and are generally grouped under genetic, familial, hormonal, dietary and environmental factors. However, the fact remains the majority of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factor.

For more on the risk factors associated with breast cancer please see Breast Cancer Risk Factors.

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