To have these risk factors present does not mean you are automatically going to get breast cancer and the absence of these factors does not assure you will not get it either. The perfect example is family history. If your family has a history of breast cancer, you are put at higher risk but, 80%-90% of women who get the breast cancer diagnosis have no known family history of it.
Aging is one of the most important although there is a rise in younger women being diagnosed. At age 20, a woman’s risk is 1 in 1,985. Women at age 70, the risk rises to 1 in 24. If a women lives to 85 years old, her risk increases to 1 in 8. In a woman’s lifetime, their risk of getting breast cancer is 8%, or 1 in 12.
Of course there are other factors that can increase your risk. If a woman has her first period before age 12, is in menopause after 55, or has excess weight after menopause, their risk increases.
Even your history of childbirth is a factor. If a woman has her first child after 30, has no children, or is taking birth control pills for five years or longer, their risk of breast cancer increases.
Drinking more than one alcoholic drink per day, current use of estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, high breast density, exposure to large amounts of radiation, a previous biopsy showing an excessive growth of tissue, treatment for Hodgkin’s disease at a young age, and a history of breast or ovarian cancer are all risk factors.
It is important to do all that you can to live a healthy lifestyle. Learn about prevention.