The primary factors that have an impact on your risk for breast cancer include being a woman, getting older (most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older), and having changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). In inclusion, research have shown that some other things may also influence your risk.
Factors That Minimize Your Risk
- Being older when you first had your menstrual period.
- Starting menopause at an earlier age.
- Giving birth to more children, being younger at the birth of your first child, and breastfeeding your children.
- Getting regular exercise.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
Factors That Maximize Your Risk
- Long-term use of hormonal replacement therapy.
- Individual record of breast cancer or non-cancerous breast diseases.
- Family members history of breast cancer (on either your mother’s or father’s side of the family).
- Therapy with radiation treatment to the breast/chest.
- Direct exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) (for example, if you took DES during pregnancy or your mother took DES during her pregnancy with you).
- Dense breasts by mammogram.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Night-shift work.
Some women will develop breast cancer even without having any identified risk factors. Having a risk point does not mean you will get the disorder, and not all risk factors influence your risk to the similar level. Most women have some risk factors and most women do not get breast cancer. If you have breast cancer risk factors, discuss with your doctor about techniques you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer.