What are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?
Susceptibility depends on factors that might increase your possibility of getting cancer.
Factors that cannot be modified but contributing to risk are.
Gender: Women are more likely to develop breast cancer; probably due to increased exposure to hormones.
Age: Risk increases with increasing age; the median age of presentation is 40-50 years.
Family History: Risk increases if you have immediate family members with breast cancer especially at young age. Risk is increased by two fold for first degree relatives.
Genetic Factors: BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations make you susceptible for development of breast cancer; usually in young women and also at increased risk for ovarian cancer.
Menstrual history: Attaining menarche at early age and menopause at older age increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Factors that can be modified but contributing to risk are :
Obesity: Increases the risk of breast cancer due to excessive fat-causing hormonal imbalance.
Pregnancy: Women who have never been pregnant have a higher risk than those who did. Older age at first pregnancy also increases the risk.
Lactation: Women who do not lactate have a higher risk.
Alcohol Consumption increases the risk of breast cancer.
Consumption of contraceptive pills increases the risk; stopping them reduces the risk.
Receiving radiation to the chest area as a child or young adult increases the risk of breast cancer.