Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Screening Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. Knowing your risk factors and getting screened early gives you a better chance for a cure. Age and family history are the two best indicators for risk of breast cancer that cannot be changed. Having a number of family members with breast cancer is also an indicator of genetically inherited types of breast cancer. The top 3 things that influence breast cancer risk that can be changed are diet, weight and physical activity.