Government of New Brunswick

1) What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer starts as changes in the cells of the breast. A group of cancer cells can grow into a tumour and invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.


2) How is breast cancer affecting New Brunswickers?

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among New Brunswick women. Approximately 625 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed per year and about 125 die from this disease.

3) What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Risk factors are conditions that may increase the chance of developing breast cancer.

Everyone should know what is normal for their breasts. They should discuss their risk factors for breast cancer or any changes in their breasts with their physician or nurse practitioner.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Modifiable Risk Factors

Age over 50

Body weight

Family history of cancer


 Hormones and menstrual history


High breast density

Alcohol consumption

Previous breast condition


Gene mutations


For more information, refer to Breast Cancer and Your Risk brochure.

4) How can I lower my risk for breast cancer?

You can lower your risk for breast cancer by:

  • getting screened regularly
  • eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • be physically active
  • not smoking
  • limiting alcohol consumption
  • discuss benefits & risks of hormone replacement therapy
  • having children and breast feeding, if possible

5) What should I do if I have any questions or concerns about breast cancer?
If you have questions or concerns about breast cancer, please speak with your primary health-care provider (doctor or nurse) or visit the Canadian Cancer Society.