Abstract : In developed countries, breast cancer is currently the leading cancer in women in terms of incidence and mortality (standardized rate of 101.5 and 17.7 per 100,000 person-years in 2005, respectively). Many risk factors and prognostic factors have been studied and are well known. Research is under way with regard to every step in the development of breast cancer, but the impact of socio-economic and geographic factors, at the individual and environmental level with regard to the disease have never been studied in France.The general aim of this work was to explore the impact of these factors in different ways to build on our knowledge and to develop practical applications in the primary, secondary or tertiary prevention of breast cancer.In our first study, we showed that women with a low socio-educational level were less likely to have benefited from at least one mammography within the 6 years or at least one gynaecological consultation within the 3 years before the diagnosis of breast cancer. These women also had a more advanced tumour at diagnosis than did women with a higher socio-educational level. These variables also came to light as predictors of a poor prognosis in terms of survival. In our second study, we showed that access to a surgeon specialised in breast cancer surgery, which is associated with better survival, was influenced by the socio-economic level of the patient's place of residence, as well as the distance between the patient's home and reference centres for cancer treatment, where the specialised surgeons work. In our third study, we showed that in contrast to many cancers, the incidence of breast cancer was highest in the most socio-economically privileged areas, and this whatever the age of the patient. We have no explanation for this phenomenon, particularly with regard to the youngest age group of women. Finally, the aim of our fourth study, which is currently on-going, is to study at the individual level, using the new European deprivation index adapted to France, to what extent economic wealth and social standing, as well as the proximity of medical services for patients with breast cancer have an impact on tumour stage, access to treatment, treatment techniques and survival.