Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects females. The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown; however, the presence of the following risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing breast cancer.
In recent research conducted in the United States in 2014 about 232, 00 new cases of breast cancer were noted to occur in females as compared to only 2,300 in males. Thus, it is obvious that females are at much more risk of developing breast cancer as compared to males.
It is estimated that about 75% of breast cancer occurs in women above 55 years of age. It rarely occurs below the age of 45. This is probably because the risk of damage to the genetic materials is more if you live longer. Moreover, as you age the ability of the body to rectify any kind of genetic damage is significantly reduced. Ultimately, together these factors increase the risk of invasive breast cancer.
History of Breast Cancer in Family
In women, who already have any close relative suffering from breast cancer the risk of developing breast cancer is significantly increased. Statically speaking having one such first degree relative in your family almost doubles your risk of developing cancer while having two or more such relatives increases the risk to about 5 folds.
Exposure to Radiation
Radiation therapy involving chest is used to treat certain malignant conditions such as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Similarly, radiation therapy was used in the past to treat acne. This exposure to radiation in any of the above-mentioned case puts you at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT is used to treat postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and fatigue. It is also aimed to prevent osteoporosis. The use of HRT, however, is found to increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
This holds true both for combination HRT as well as estrogen-only HRT. Statistically speaking, the risk of developing breast cancer is increased by about 75% with the use of combination HRT containing both estrogen and progesterone. The likelihood of developing breast is relatively much low when HRT containing estrogen alone is used.
Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol
In 60s women were provided with diethylstilbestrol in order to prevent abortion. The women who took DES or the women born to the mothers who took DES were found to have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
In addition, certain other factors such as heavy drinking, use of contraceptive pills, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise can all contribute to your increased risk of developing breast cancer.
If you would like to get a breast exam, please come to Century Medical and Dental Center (Downtown Brooklyn, Gravesend, and Flatbush) to get one today.