Do You Know the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?

Do You Know the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?

by Posted on: November 8, 2017Categories: LiveWell 24/7   


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and because one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, it’s important to learn the risk factors and symptoms of this disease.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and occurs when cells in the breast tissue mutate and begin reproducing, usually clustering together to form a tumor. A tumor is considered malignant (or cancerous) when these cells spread to other parts of the breast or body. Women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men, but there have been cases in males.

Greater awareness, increased screening, and better treatments have decreased the death rate from this disease in recent years, but it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

Here are some key risk factors to know:

  1. Age: For women, the risk of breast cancer begins to climb after age 40, and is highest for women in their 70’s.

  2. Family History: Having a mom, sister, or daughter with breast cancer doubles a woman’s breast cancer risk, while having two or more first-degree relatives triples her risk.
  3. Having the Breast Cancer Gene Mutation: Almost 10% of breast cancers are thought to be inherited, often due to defects in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. In the U.S., these mutations are most common in Jewish women of Eastern European descent.
  4. Previous Breast Cancer: Women who have previously had breast cancer or breast lumps have an increased risk of developing the disease.
  5. Race and Ethnicity: White women are most likely to develop breast cancer, but African American and Hispanic women are more likely to die from the disease. African American women are most likely to develop more aggressive breast cancer at a younger age
  6. Weight: Being overweight or obese after menopause increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
  7. Alcohol Consumption: Studies have suggested that drinking two or more alcoholic beverages a day increases a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer, as well as other cancers.

Check out the website below for information on symptoms and screening for breast cancer.

Read More Here


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