Breast cancer risk factors
Although there are several risk factors that may suggest that someone could suffer from breast cancer sometime in their lives, little is known about its causes. When we say that a person is at greater risk of developing cancer, or having a risk factor, it means that you may have a certain “vulnerability” to the disease. However, risk factors do not "predict" whether a woman will develop breast cancer or not. Many people who have indications do not develop the disease and others, without any of the following factors, do actually suffer from Breast cancer.
- Sex: Unfortunately women are the first to suffer from the disease, with only one man in 100 female patients
- Age: The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. It usually occurs in women after the age of 50
- Family History: When a woman has a first-degree relative (mother, sister) with breast cancer, it almost doubles the chances of developing breast cancer herself.
- No Children
- Breast lumps (papillomatosis)
- Delayed menarche or early menopause
- Radiation: Especially radiotherapy to the chest before the age of 30 increases significantly the chances
- Obesity: Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer after menopause, by increasing the levels of estrogen.
- Alcohol: also increase the concentration of estrogen in the blood
- Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy: it seems to slightly increase the risk of developing breast cancer in women at the time of their use or shortly after