We assessed breast cancer risk in relation to weight at birth and adolescence. In-person interviews were completed with the biological mothers of women aged 45 years and younger who participated in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study in 1996-98 (288 cases, 350 controls). After adjustment for confounding, women who were 4000 g or more at birth were not at increased risk of breast cancer (odds ratio=0.7; 95% confidence interval 0.4-1.4) relative to women whose birth weight was 2500-2999 g. Compared with women of average perceived weight at age 15 years, no relation was apparent for heavier than average weight based on maternal report (odds ratio=0.7; 95% confidence interval 0.5-1.2) or self-report (odds ratio=1.0; 95% confidence interval 0.7-1.6). Perceived adolescent weight and height did not modify the association of birth weight with breast cancer risk. These results suggest that weight early in life is not related to premenopausal breast cancer risk in this low-risk population.