UNDERSTANDING RISK

There are factors which increases the risk of breast cancer and there are factors which are not that important but does play a part in increasing the risk of breast cancer. Although there is lot of development in the understanding of breast cancer, still we do not have a definite answer for why it develops at a particular time in a person. 

However there are certain common factors which are responsible for higher risk for developing breast cancer.

Knowing the basics of risk factors will enhance our understating of risk factors and probably we can work towards its prevention.

Absolute risk of developing breast cancer in a ages 30-34 for women is 25 in 100,000. This is less than 1% risk. As the age grows the absolute risk of developing breast cancer also increases. 

Lifetime risk for a women developing cancer is 1 in 8. 

RISK FACTORS

  1. Lifestyle such as sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drinking alcohol, and lack of exercise increases risk of breast cancer.
  2. Reproduction (Age at 1st period).
  3. Genetics (Such as family history).
  4. Environment (Such as radiation exposure).
  5. Older women has higher chances of developing breast cancer than younger women, hence age increases risk.

FACTORS THAT AFFECT BREAST CANCER RISK

  1. Age at 1st child birth and number of child births. In general more children a women give birth to lowers her risk of breast cancer. Women giving birth to child at 35 or lower age group tend to have lower chances of developing breast cancer.
  2. Starting menstrual period at a young age is related to higher risk of developing breast cancer. So women who began their menstrual period before the age of 12 have 20% higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  3. Going at menopause late. Women who goes t menopause after age 55 have 30% higher risk of breast cancer.
  4. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. For ex women who take 2-3 alcoholic drinks everyday have about 20% higher risk of breast cancer than non-drinkers.
  5. Being female – being female is most important risk factor for developing breast cancer. Although men can also breast cancer however women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer.
  6.  Recurrent usage of birth pills also increases the risk of breast cancer.
  7. Studies have shown women having high birth weight appear to have higher risk of breast cancer
  8. Higher amount of androgen in the blood may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women.
  9. Higher amount of estrogen in the blood is associated with higher risk of developing breast cancer after menopause.
  10. After menopause being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer.
  11. Women with high bone density have about 60-80% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women with low bone density.
  12. Women with high breast density are more likely to develop breast cancer than women with low breast density.
  13. Breast feeding lowers the risk of breast cancer specially in pre-menopausal women.  
  14. Women who get regular exercise or physical activity have about 10-20 % lower risk of developing breast cancer.
  15. Family history of certain kind of cancer increases the risk of breast cancer
  16. Fruits, vegetables and carotenoids reduces the risk of breast cancer.
  17. Taller women have higher risk of breast cancer than shorter women.
  18. Some of the benign breast conditions or diseases increases the risk of breast cancer. But not all.
  19. Some inherited mutated genes increases the risk of breast cancer.
  20. Women who worked at night shifts for a very long period of time have slightly higher chances of developing breast cancer.
  21. LCIS increases the risk of invasive breast cancer.
  22. Women diagnosed with breast cancer have much higher risk of developing breast cancer again as compared to women never ever had breast cancer.
  23. Women with higher blood levels of prolactin may have higher risk of breast  cancer than women with lower levels.
  24. Exposure to large amount of radiation early in the life increases the risk of breast cancer.
  25. White and black women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women from Asia pacific.

 

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