Background: Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common forms of epithelial neoplasms type of cancer affecting women worldwide. The main objective of this study was to examine health beliefs, screening behavior and risk for developing BC in academic women and housewives in Turkey. Methods: In this cross-sectional, descriptive study, a sample of 415 women were surveyed, composed of 166 academics and 249 housewives between the ages of 20-65 years. Results: Risk of developing breast cancer, both five-year and lifetime, was higher in academic women than in housewives (P <0.001). The frequency of BSE, CBE and mammography was higher in academic women than housewives. For academic women, perceptions related to benefit, self-efficacy, health motivation were significantly higher than housewives (t= 3.726, P <0.001; t=8.165, P <0.001, t=2.326; P <0.021, respectively). Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that the risk for developing BC in academic women is higher than for housewives. Although academic women had more screening performance for early diagnosis of BC, it was still lower than 50%, below the desired level. Education programs should be aimed at increasing women's BC screening behaviors and the positively affect beliefs.