OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the relationship between rs17576 (MMP-9) polymorphism and increased cancer risk in a Brazilian breast cancer cohort. METHODS: This study included 141 women (71 breast cancer patients and 70 controls without breast cancer) who donated 3 mL of their peripheral blood for genomic DNA extraction. This DNA was then genotyped using a real-time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: The AG (rs17576) genotype was identified in 26 (18.43%) participants in the case group and in 22 (15.60%) participants in the control group (p=0.274), while the GG genotype was identified in ten (7.09%) participants in the case group and in one (0.70%) participant in the control group (p<0.003 - OR (95% CI) 13.13 (1.73, 593.08). No significant difference in the incidence rates was observed for AG or GG rs17576 genotypes in premenopausal women, p=0.813 and p=0.556, respectively. However, in postmenopausal women, the AG genotype was shown to occur in 14 (22.5%) participants in the case group and in 4 (6.45%) participants in the control (p<0.043), while GG genotype occurred in eight (12.90%) of the individuals in the case group and in none of the individuals in the control group (p<0.006). CONCLUSION: In this study, the MMP-9 rs17576 GG polymorphic variant was shown to be significantly associated with breast cancer risk in premenopausal women, while the AG and GG genotypes were associated with increased cancer risk in postmenopausal women.