Breast Cancer Risk factors

Anything that increases your risk for breast cancer is a risk factor. There are some risk factors which are not under your control – such as family history, age, being female, menopause, personal and medical history. Here we will discuss the factors that you can control.

Women who lead sedentary life (do not get themselves involve in any sort of physical activity) are at increased risk of cancer.

Smoking increases the risk – both active and passive smoking

Overweight or obese women are at risk

Obesity after menopause increases breast cancer risk. Fat tissues produce estrogen after menopause. Higher levels of estrogen hormones in the blood is a risk factor. After menopause ovaries stop estrogen production, but fat cells don’t. Therefore, a woman having excess fat tissue has excess estrogen and thus remain at increased risk.

Why estrogen hormone is a risk factor?

As long as estrogen hormone remains in the bloodstream, the risk increases. This hormone stimulates breast cell growth. Therefore, the duration of estrogen hormone’s exposure in the body directly proportions to increased risk.

What are the other breast cancer risk factors?

One of the major risk factors is taking hormonal therapy for a long period of time – may be up to 10 or more than 10 years.

Many women take hormonal therapy ( a combination of estrogen and progesterone) after menopause or only estrogen alone. The risk increases even if estrogen alone is taken for more than 10 years.

Breast Cancer Risks that You cannot control

Age: Being a woman and growing older is the biggest risk factor. As a woman grows older, the risk increasing gradually. for instance, the risk is only 1% up to age 40 years but increases up to 20% by age 45 to 50 years. by the time a woman reaches 60 years, the risk increases up to 30%.

If a close relative or a first-degree relative (sister, daughter or mother) has had breast cancer, your risk increases many times.