Do I Have Breast Cancer Risk Factors?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “We don’t know.” We can never be sure whether breast cancer will happen during our lifetime. This is due, in great part, to the fact that the cause or causes of breast cancer remain vague. However, we do know several risk factors that may increase our chance of future development of breast cancer.
Did you know that one of our biggest breast cancer risk factors is simply getting older? Take a look and see how age alone influences your breast cancer risk:
Your risk of breast cancer by age:
- One teenage girl out of every 2152 girls develops breast cancer before age 20.
- By age 30, the risk of breast cancer in women increases significantly to 1 in 251.
- Your risk factor for breast cancer at age 40 is 1 in 69.
- By age 50, breast cancer risk is up to 1 woman out of 36 women.
- Then by age 60, your breast cancer risk factor has soared to 1 in 26.
- Finally, by age 70, breast cancer risk is a whooping 1 in 23.
- Overall, 1 out of every 7 women faces breast cancer diagnosis during her lifetime.
Other factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer include your answers to the following questions:
- Do you have a history of breast or ovarian cancer?
See also: Ovarian Cancer Screening Test
- Do you have a family history of breast cancer, chiefly diagnosis of your mother, sister, or daughter?
- Have you ever had biopsy confirmed hyperplasia or carcinoma in situ?
- Did you start menstruation before age 12 or did you enter menopause after age 55?
- Do you have the inherited gene that causes mutation of breast cancer genes BRCA1 and/or BRCA2?.
- Do you consume more than one alcoholic beverage per day?
See also: Drinking Increases Breast Cancer Risk…
- Have you become overweight during adulthood, or during menopause?
See also: How to Lower Your Cancer Risk
- Have you used oral contraceptives for five years or longer?
See also: Breast Cancer and Oral Contraceptives
- Have you never had children?
- Did your first pregnancy occur after you were 30 years old or older?
- Do you have a history of, or do you currently use, combined estrogen with progestins as hormone replacement therapy or HRT?
See also: Drawbacks of HRT – The Cancer Risk
- Have you ever had radiation therapy for treatment of diseases such as scoliosis or in Hodgkin’s disease diagnosed and treated at a young age?
If your answer to any of the above questions is “Yes,” you have increased risk factors for breast cancer. See your health care professional to learn more about your personal breast cancer risk.
Please remember: Because we know the large number of risk factors that may lead to breast cancer diagnosis all women must understand how imperative monthly breast self exam is to each woman regardless of age.