The X-ray repair cross-complementing group 1 (XRCC1) gene is believed to play an important role in base excision repair and displays genetic polymorphisms. Data on the role of XRCC1 polymorphisms in cancer susceptibility is inconsistent. In the present study, we investigated the effect of two XRCC1 polymorphisms, Arg194Trp and Arg399Gln, on breast cancer risk in a case- control study involving Turkish breast cancer patients and healthy women. Both alleles exhibited a similar distribution among cases and controls leading to lack of any significant association between the XRCC1 polymorphisms and breast cancer risk, either in homozygotes and heterozygotes or combined. The allele frequency of the codon 194 variant was very low in cases and healthy individuals (5.3 and 3.9%, respectively) compared to that of the variant 399Gln allele (39.7 and 37.4%). Our results do not support evidence for a role of the XRCC1 polymorphism in developing breast cancer.