Breast Cancer: Know the Risks
The possibility of increasing the chance of developing breast cancer are called risk factors. There are certain things one can control, and others, not so much. Here is a list of risk factors to pay attention to:
- If you start your period before age 12
- If menopause begins after age 55
- If you have children after age 35, or don’t have children at all.
- If you don’t breastfeed your babies
- Check with your doctor to find out if you need it if you’re taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Some types of HRT increase your risk for breast cancer causing “dense breasts” (more breast tissue than fat tissue). Dense breasts put you at more risk for breast cancer and even a mammogram finds it difficult to detect breast cancer.
- Make sure you get at least 4 hours of exercise each week.
- Maintain a healthy weight, especially if you’re going through menopause.
- Cut down alochol consumption to one per day
Family History and Genetics
- If you have relatives with breast cancer or ovarian cancer at a young age.
- Changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes related to breast cancer.
Other Risk Factors
- Aging is a risk factor
- If you’ve undergone radiation treatment in the chest area.
- Breast cancer or certain other breast problems in the past.
Just because one or more of these risks apply to you doesn’t mean you’ll have breast cancer. Another thing to remember is, women can have breast cancer without any of the above risks. The important thing is to talk to your doctor about what steps you can take to lower your own risks and get the right screening.
This information is courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and here is an infographic to illustrate:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Please take care.
For more resources about breast cancer, visit BreastCancer.org