Risk Factors for Developing Breast Cancer

Health history can affect the risk of developing breast cancer.

Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. There are risk factor assessment tools available….Risk factors for breast cancer includes the following:

  • A family history (first-degree relative, such as mother, daughter, or sister) of breast cancer.
  • Inherited changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or in other genes that increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram.
  • Estrogen (made in the body)
  • Menstruating at an early age.
  • Older age at first birth or never having given birth.
  • Taking hormones such as estrogen combined with progestin for symptoms of menopause.
  • Taking oral contraceptive pills for long time
  • Obesity.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • A personal history of invasive breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).
  • A personal history of benign (noncancer) breast disease.
  • Treatment with radiation therapy to the breast/chest.
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