Some of the breast cancer risk factors can be modified (such as alcohol use) while others cannot be influenced (such as age). It is important to discuss these risks with your health care professional. The following are risk factors for breast cancer.
The chances of breast cancer increase as you grow older.
The risk of breast cancer is higher among those who have history of breast cancer running in their families.
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast increases the risk of cancer in the other breast or the chance of an additional cancer in the original breast. Those diagnosed with some benign breast conditions have an increased risk of breast cancer. These include atypical hyperplasia, a condition in which there is abnormal proliferation of breast cells but no cancer has developed.
Women who get their periods at a younger age (before 12) or hit menopause after 55 should opt for timely check-ups
Women with dense breast tissue (as documented by mammogram) have a higher risk of breast cancer.
White women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, but African-American women tend to have more aggressive tumors when they do develop breast cancer.
Exposure to previous chest radiation or use of diethylstilbestrol increases the risk of breast cancer.
Having no children or the first child after the age of 30 increases the risk of breast cancer. Also, breastfeeding for 1 ½ to 2 years might slightly lower the risk of breast cancer.
Being overweight or obesity increases the risk of breast cancer. Exercise may help lower the risk of breast cancer.
Use of oral contraceptives for long increases the risk of breast cancer.
Using combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer.
Consuming alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, and it appears to be proportional to the amount of alcohol used.