Hello and Welcome to the Helen Knoll Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer in young women.

Our Mission: Prevention! Stop Breast Cancer Before it Starts

– Risk Awareness Education
– Advocacy
– Counseling Resources

Family history of Breast Cancer

If a first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) is diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, your risk is 5 times higher than average.

In general, the younger the relative was when she was diagnosed, the greater a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer.

A woman whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 40 has about twice the risk of a woman without a family history of breast cancer.

Breast density

Women with high breast density are four to five times more likely to get breast cancer than women with low breast density. Dense breasts have less fatty tissue and more non-fatty tissue compared to breasts that aren’t as dense. Instead of fatty tissue, dense breasts are comprised of greater gland tissues that make and drains milk. They also have supportive tissue (called stroma) surrounding the gland.

Breast density can be inherited, so if your mother has dense breasts, it’s likely you will too.

Age of first menstrual period

Women who started menstruating (having periods) before the age of 12 have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Over the past 15 years, girls have started puberty at younger ages, with breast development beginning even earlier than their menstrual periods. This unexpected shift has been attributed to the obesity epidemic and exposure to hormone disruptors at a younger age, which trigger the onset of breast development and puberty.

Female hormone estrogen levels change with the menstrual cycle. Women who start menstruating at a very young age have a slight increase in breast cancer risk, which may be linked to greater lifetime exposure to estrogen.

Stop Breast Cancer Before it Starts

Prevention & Education are your Biggest Allies!