Variation in DNA repair genes is one of the mechanisms that may lead to variation in DNA repair capacity. Ku, a heterodimeric DNA-binding complex, is directly involved in repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Ku consists of two subunits, Ku70 and Ku80, which are encoded by the XRCC6 and XRCC5 genes, respectively. In the present study, we investigated whether common genetic variant in variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) XRCC5 and T-991C XRCC6 was associated with an altered risk of breast cancer. The present study included 407 females with breast cancer and 395 age frequency-matched controls which were randomly selected from the healthy female blood donors. The XRCC5 and XRCC6 polymorphisms were determined using PCR-based methods. For XRCC5 polymorphism, in comparison with the 1R/1R genotype, the 0R/0R genotype increased breast cancer risk (OR 9.55, 95%CI 1.19-76.64, P = 0.034). The 1R/3R genotype compared with 1R/1R genotype decreased the risk of breast cancer (Fisher's exact test P = 0.015). There was no association between T-991C polymorphism of XRCC6 and breast cancer risk. Mean of age at diagnosis of breast cancer for 0, 1, 2, 3, and >4 repeat in XRCC5 were 39.2, 41.9, 44.3, 45.8, and 47.3 years, respectively. The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that the number of repeat was associated with age at diagnosis of breast cancer (log rank statistic = 13.90, df = 4, P = 0.008). The findings of the present study revealed that either breast cancer risk or age at diagnosis of breast cancer was associated with the VNTR polymorphism at promoter region of XRCC5.