Women at moderate risk

Your risk

Being at ‘moderate risk’ of developing breast cancer means you have a higher than average risk of developing breast cancer.

Women at this risk level have at least 17% but less than 30% chance of developing breast cancer during their lives or put another way, between about 17 and 30 of every 100 women at moderate risk will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

Moderate risk

Put another way, between about 17 and 30 of every 100 women at moderate risk will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

Women at moderate risk of breast cancer who have already had the disease are also at higher risk of developing a new breast cancer.

Your family history or genetics specialist will be able to give you an estimate of your personal chances of developing breast cancer. To help give you a clear picture of your risk, they may also give you an estimate of your chances of developing breast cancer within the next 10 years.

Your clinic can provide psychological counselling or arrange this for you if you feel it would help you deal with the feelings caused by your increased risk of breast cancer.

Genetic testing

If you’re at a moderate risk, you won’t be eligible for genetic testing, as there is a less than 10% chance you have inherited faulty breast cancer genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53.

This also means that it’s unlikely you’ve inherited an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

What can I do to manage my risk?

Your specialist can give you advice on how to manage your increased risk of breast cancer. You might be eligible to take a risk-reducing drug (tamoxifen or raloxifene) and possibly to have earlier breast screening, depending on your age. In addition, you can be breast aware, and may want to make lifestyle changes, such as being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.

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