What increases the risk of a woman to have breast cancer?
Factors that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, include:
Genetics : About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child. BRCA1 & BRCA 2 are helpful to determine high risk groups. Family history of breast cancer especially first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) the risk is doubled.
Racial and Ethnic factor : Generally speaking white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than african women. On the other hand, african race are more likely to develop more aggressive and more advanced breast cancer.
Overweight and obesity : Women with obesity are at greater risk of developing breast cancer compared to those maintaining their ideal weight, especially after menopause. Also, obesity is linked to recurrence in patients with previously treated cancer breast.
Previous diagnosis with breast cancer: There will be 3 to 4 times more likely to develop cancer in the other breast or even the same breast.
Exposure to radiation to the chest to treat another cancer (not breast cancer), for example patients with Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, received radiotherapy are at higher risk of developing cancer breast.
Pregnancy and lactation: Women who never been pregnant or have their first baby after age 30 are at higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who gave birth before age 30. Breast feeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially when continued more than 1 year.
Menarche & menopause: Women who started menstruation younger than age 12 are at higher risk of breast cancer. Same applies for women with delayed menopause than age 55.
Hormone replacement therapy Research linked users of HRT (to have a higher risk of breast cancer).
Alcohol intake : Increases the risk of developing hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
Tobacco Smoking: Women who smokes are at higher risk of developing breast cancer in all age groups and the risk increases with the duration and heaviness of smoking.