Who is at risk of developing breast cancer?

2016-10-18 06:00

DO you think you stand a high chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer? Take a look at this list of factors to find out.

Every woman is potentially at risk of getting breast cancer. However, there are certain factors that would put women in a higher risk category. The risk factors include:

Family history

Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease. Having one first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child or maternal grandmother) with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman’s risk. Having 2 first-degree relatives increases her risk about three-fold.

Personal history

A woman with cancer in one breast has a 3-4 times increased risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast. This is different from a recurrence (return) of the first cancer.

Dense breast tissue

Women with dense breast tissue (as identified on a mammogram) have more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue, and have a higher risk of breast cancer. Unfortunately, dense breast tissue can also make it harder for doctors to spot problems on mammograms.

Overweight or obese women

Research has shown that being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast and other cancers. Now, a larger study suggests that overweight and obese women diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer, have a higher risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence) and are less likely to survive the disease. Healthy eating and weight management is very important.

Lifestyle factors

Excessive alcohol use, little to no physical activity, smoking and diets high in saturated fats increase the risk of breast cancer.

Radiation to chest before 30 years of age

Radiation to the chest to treat another cancer (not breast cancer), such as Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, results in a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer.


White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African American, Hispanic, and Asian women.

Hormonal environment

Women who haven’t had a full-term pregnancy or have their first child after age 30, have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who gave birth before age 30. Breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than 1 year. Women who started menstruating (having periods) younger than age 12 have a higher risk of breast cancer later in life. The same is true for women who go through menopause when they’re older than 55. Current or recent past users of HRT have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. - Women24


White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American, Hispanic, and Asian women. - Women24

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