Breast cancer was studied over a 20-year period in Inuit populations in the Circumpolar region. A total of 193 breast cancers were observed in women. The incidence increased from 28.2 per 100 000 in 1969-1973 to 34.3 per 100 000 in 1984-1988. However, the incidence is low, about half what could be expected based on the rates in Denmark, Canada and Connecticut (USA). The low incidence could be explained by the Inuit diet and other lifestyle factors. These benefits should be preserved, in particular in the young, to maintain a low breast cancer incidence.