A few risk factors make one more susceptible to get breast cancer, which cannot always be prevented. But there are things one can do to lower the risk. Breast cancer risk factors mean anything that affects the chance of getting breast cancer. But having a risk factor does not mean that one is sure to get the disease in the future. While one cannot change some breast cancer risk factors like family history and aging, there are some other risk factors that one can control.
The risk factors for breast cancer that one cannot change are:
- Being a woman.
- Getting older.
- Having certain gene changes.
- Positive family history for breast cancer.
- Early menarche (before 12).
- Late menopause (after 55).
- Certain benign breast conditions.
The other group of risk factors is related to the personal behaviors. These risk factors are categorized into three groups:
- Factors with proven effect.
- Factors with unclear effect.
- Factors with disproven effect.
The first group that, of course, should be avoided are:
- Drinking alcohol.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Not being physically active.
- Not having children.
- Not breastfeeding.
- Some birth control methods.
- Hormone therapy after menopause.
The second group of risk factors which have an unclear effect and more research is needed to prove their effect are:
- Factors related to diet.
- Tobacco smoke.
The last group which has been proven that they do not affect getting breast cancer are:
- Using antiperspirants.
- Wearing different types of bras.
Try to keep the breasts healthy by avoiding its risk factors. Consult a gynecologist to know how to calculate the risk of getting breast cancer, how one should do breast self-examination, and which tests are needed to do according to the age and risk to be sure that one's breasts are healthy.