A risk factor is anythink that increases your chance of developing any disease. Cancer has its own risk factors like other diseases but most of them don’t directly cause cancer. Every women wants to know how they can reduce the cancer risk. It will be easy if you know which factors increase your cancer risk.
Breast cancer risk factors
- Age: Like most of the other cancer types, old age increases the breast cancer risk. Breast cancer risk increases after 50, risk is found low as 1 of 20 000 women in 20s but this percentage increases after 50 years old.
- Genetic: % 5-10 of the breast cancers are found hereditary. Breast cancer risk is twice higher for the women who has a family member with breast cancer, but don’t forget that breast cancer does not develop in 8 of the 10 women who have a close relative with breast cancer. Also breast cancer risk is higher if you have BRCA gene mutation.
- Menstruation starting age: Breast cancer risk is higher in women who started menstruating younger than 12 years old.
- Late menopause: Menopause age is an another risk factor like early menstruation. Going through menopause after 55 increases the breast cancer risk.
- Having children and breastfeeding: Having first child at older age or never having given birth increases breast cancer risk. Having the first birth after 30 years increases the risk. On the other hand it is thought that breastfeeding reduces the breast cancer risk.
- Hormonal effects: Estrogen in women and testosterone in men increases the breast cancer risk. Breast cancer risk is twice in women who have high estrogen level after menopause. Besides estrogen and testosterone, breast cancer risk is high if insulin- like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) level is high.
- Hormone therapy after menopause: Hormone therapies which are used to treat the symptoms of menopause increase the breast cancer risk.
- Diet: It is thought that high-fat diet may increase the cancer risk but no research is confirmed that any kind of food reduces cancer risk. Fruits and vegetables, vitamin rich healthy diet may strengthen your immune system and can protect you from breast cancer.
- Alcohol: Studies show that drinking more than 1 beer or a glass of wine daily increases breast cancer risk about 7-10 percent.
- Smoking: Increases breast cancer and other cancers’ risk so much. Level of the risk depends on the daily tobacco usage amount. Risk is higher in women who started smoking before 20 years old or before her first birth.