What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), risk factors for breast cancer include:
• Older age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older.
• Family history. Women whose mother, sister or daughter had breast cancer are at higher risk themselves.
• Genetics. Women who have mutated forms of some genes have a higher risk for breast cancer.
• History of breast cancer. Women who have had cancer in one breast are more likely to develop cancer in the other breast.
• Race. Caucasian women are more likely than women of other races to develop breast cancer.
• Past radiation treatment. Women who have had radiation therapy to the chest are at higher risk for breast cancer.
• Age of first and last period. Women who started menstruating before age 12, or stopped menstruating after age 55, are at higher risk for breast cancer.
• Past pregnancies. In general, women who have no biological children or did not bear children until after age 30 have a higher risk for breast cancer.
• DES (diethylstilbestrol). Women who were given this drug during pregnancy have a higher risk for breast cancer.
• Medicines with hormones. Birth control pills and hormone therapy after menopause have both been linked to increased breast cancer risk.
• Obesity and being overweight. Women who are overweight or obese after menopause are more likely to develop breast cancer than those who maintain a healthy weight.
• An inactive lifestyle. Women who get regular exercise are less likely to develop breast cancer.
• Alcohol. As little as one alcoholic drink a day can raise a woman’s breast cancer risk.

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