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Breast Cancer Risk factors

Genetic Risk Factors

  • Gender: Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men.
  • Age: Two out of three women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55.
  • Family History and Genetic Factors: If your mother, sister, maternal grand mother / maternal aunt, her daughter has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. Your risk increases if your relative was diagnosed before the age of 50.
  • Personal Health History: If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the other breast in the future. Also, your risk increases if abnormal breast cells have been detected before (such as atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)).
  • Menstrual and Reproductive History: Early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after 55), having your first child at an older age and not breast feeding or never having given birth can also increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Certain Genome Changes: Mutations in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase your risk for breast cancer. This is determined through a genetic test, which you may consider taking if you have a family history of breast cancer. Individuals with these gene mutations can pass the gene mutation onto their children.
  • Dense Breast Tissue: Having dense breast tissue can increase your risk for breast cancer and make lumps harder to detect. Several states have passed laws requiring physicians to disclose to women if their mammogram indicates that they have dense breasts so that they are aware of this risk. Be sure to ask your physician if you have dense breasts and what the implications of having dense breasts are.

Environmental and Life Style Risk Factors

  • Lack of Physical Activity: A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Poor Diet: A diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Being Overweight or Obese: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have already gone through menopause.
  • Drinking Alcohol: Frequent consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer. The more alcohol you consume, the greater the risk.
  • Radiation to the Chest: Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Taking combined hormone replacement therapy, as prescribed for menopause, can increase your risk for breast cancer and increases the risk that the cancer will be detected at a more advanced stage.

Risk Factors for Recurrence

Sjome patients are at higher risk to get recurrence of breast cancers than other. It is very difficult to predict who will get recurrence of breast cancer and why? Some of the known risk factors for recurrence are as under :

  • Tumor size: the smaller your tumor, the lower the risk.
  • Lymph nodes: The fewer underarm lymph nodes that have cancer, the lower your risk.
  • Cell growth: Cancer cells that grow slowly are linked to a lower risk.
  • Hormones: If a tumor depends on hormones for growth, hormonal therapy can lower the risk of cancer spread or recurrence.

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