Does Breast Size Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

Women with overly large breasts often have concerns about how their breast size may be affecting their health. In addition to issues like back pain, poor posture, and skin irritation, some women wonder if having a fuller bust creates a higher chance of getting breast cancer. Several studies have been conducted over the years to evaluate a possible link between breast size and breast cancer—does having larger breasts make you more prone to tumors?

A direct link between breast size and breast cancer has not been found. While there is some overlap of genetic factors that lead to breast growth and breast cancer, how these factors interact is unknown. A more important question is not breast size, but rather breast content. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that having dense breast tissue is a risk factor for breast cancer. This is because dense breasts tend to have more connective tissue than fatty tissue, which can sometimes complicate the process of identifying tumors in mammograms. As a result, the CDC says women with dense breasts are more prone to getting breast cancer.

In addition to dense breast tissue, other risk factors for breast cancer include obesity, a family history, alcohol consumption, and older age. While some of these factors cannot be controlled, there are certain lifestyle habits that can reduce the risk of breast cancer, such as being physically active and limiting alcohol.

While breast size isn’t a proven risk factor for breast cancer, there’s no doubt that having large breasts can lead to other health concerns. If you are unhappy with your enlarged breast tissue, or find that it is affecting your quality of life, you may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. Schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon to get a better idea of how a breast reduction may be able to help you.

For more information about how to protect your breast health, read about the known risk factors for breast cancer, and make sure to schedule regular mammograms to allow for early detection.