More than 10 percent of women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes. Weigh your personal factors to determine your level of risk and act accordingly in making smart healthcare decisions.
Your risk of developing breast cancer depends on a wide range of personal factors, including age, genetics, and lifestyle choices. Although you cannot mitigate all the risk factors, knowing your personal risks can help you make great health choices for the prevention of breast cancer. Here are six distinct risk factors for breast cancer to consider as you focus on improving your health and wellbeing.
Aging and Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Most instances of breast cancer occur after age 45. As you age, your risk of developing breast cancer increases due to cell deterioration and gene mutations. With each year lived, the biological processes in the body have more and more opportunities to make mistakes that could trigger the development of breast cancer in the future.
Genetics and Family History
Your unique genetics and family history can reveal an elevated risk of breast cancer. The presence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, for example, shows that you inherited an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. As these mutations are passed down the family line, it is important for all family members to undergo testing if your tests reveal these inherited changes.
The overall density of your breasts plays a role in your risk of developing cancer in those tissues. If you have dense breast tissue with more muscle than fat, then you may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, early detection of this type of cancer is complicated by dense breast tissue.
Your reproductive history helps reveal your overall risk of developing breast cancer. If you had your first pregnancy after age 30 or did not breastfeed your child, you face elevated breast cancer risks. Never having a pregnancy go to term is also a risk factor.
If followed for more than five years, hormone replacement therapy can elevate your risk of developing breast cancer due to the increased levels of estrogen and progesterone circulating through your body. Birth control pills similarly increase the risks of developing cancerous tumors in your breast tissue.
Alcohol increases your risks of breast cancer, especially with high daily consumption rates. You can decrease your risks by lowering the amount you drink or abstaining from alcohol altogether.
Schedule Your OBGYN Visit Today to Discuss Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
If you are ready to visit with your OBGYN to discuss your breast cancer risk factors and learn about breast cancer symptoms, contact The Woman’s Clinic by calling (501) 664-4131 to speak to our team. We will assist you in finding a convenient time and date to come in and learn more about your personal risk factors for breast cancer. You will also have an opportunity to learn great self breast exam guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer. Our focus will always remain on supporting your continued health and wellbeing.