Breast cancer is a disease of the genes; when genes go wrong they can cause cancer.

Thanks to research we know that both women and men can inherit a mutation in their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which puts them at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

With more information, women with a higher genetic risk of breast cancer can be better informed about their situation and make choices that could prevent them ever having to deal with breast cancer.

However, BCRA1 and BRCA2 only account for some of the inherited faulty genes that can cause breast cancer. More research is needed to identify these genes so more women and men can be informed and have choices that could save their life.


NBCF has a number of ground-breaking research projects focusing on the prevention of breast cancer.

Here are just a few…

Professor Ian Campbell
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Victoria
This project is looking beyond BRCA1 & 2 to identify the remaining familial breast cancer genes.

BRCA1 and 2 account for only a portion of the inheritable breast cancer genes. If women with these yet unknown genes can be identified, they will have a greater chance taking preventative measures and surviving.
Professor Melissa Southey
University of Melbourne
Breast cancer is a disease of the genes. This project is analysing huge amounts of genetic data, hoping to pinpoint the specific genes that lead to the most common types of breast cancer.

Knowing which genes mutate and cause common types of breast cancer, increases our understanding of how to prevent it occurring in the first place, either through preventative treatments or changes in lifestyle.
Associate Professor Jennifer Stone
University of Western Australia
High breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer, but makes detecting tumours via mammograms difficult. This project aims to develop a test that ‘reads’ the density of breast tissue to predict a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

This type of detection method is needed for earlier detection of breast cancer when treatments are more effective.



The National Breast Cancer Foundation is the only national body that funds life-changing breast cancer research with money raised entirely by the Australian public.

Our research has helped develop better therapies, greater understanding of possible ways to stop the spread of breast cancer to other areas, and improved quality of life for patients and their families.

Research is the only way to prevent deaths, and improve how breast cancer is diagnosed, managed and treated.

By funding only world-class research, NBCF is working towards a goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.