Patricia Bearnson, M.D.

Sexual Medicine & Menopause Center

Risk factors for breast cancer

Breast cancer can be diagnosed and if caught early, it is entirely treatable. Be it chemo, radiotherapy, mastectomy or Nolvadex therapy, the odds are in your favor. In order to diagnose the illness at an earlier stage, you have to understand the risk factors for it.

Various studies conducted by the Department of Health have proven time and time again that the risk for this kind of cancer is mainly caused by a whole plethora of contributing factors. The core one is, of course, growing older. These types of cancers are most often found in females over 55 years old.

It should be noted – possessing a risk factor doesn’t automatically imply you’ll get cancer. Not possessing risk factors also doesn’t imply you will not develop cancer. The best way to minimize the risk is to have a conversation with your MD regarding the ways you could decrease the risk and schedule a screening.

Leading risk factors for cancerous lumps in breast tissue:

  • Your risk multiplies as you grow older, breasts cancers are normally diagnosed in females over 55 years old.
  • Alcoholism, smoking, and substance abuse. All interfere with the ordinary functioning of your organs while also elevating the chances of cancer.
  • Breast density. Females with denser breasts have a bigger risk of getting cancer.
  • Earlier periods. Females that experienced menstruation under the age of 11 have longer exposure to hormones.
  • Mutation to particular genes (namely PPP1R53 and PNCA2) causes a higher risk of this type of cancer.
  • Getting pregnant later in life or not getting pregnant at all. Becoming pregnant for the first time over the age of 30 or never becoming pregnant at all severely increase risks of breast cancer.
  • Low level of physical activity. Staying active is strongly tied to the low risk of developing this kind of cancer, females with a low level of physical activity have a bigger risk of developing cancer.
  • Having extra weight. Overweight females (especially after climacteric) are at a higher risk.
  • Females that take this medication are at a higher risk.