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Breast cancer: risk factors

Approximately 2 out of every 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women 55 years or older.

Some of the factors associated with breast cancer (being a woman, age and genetics, for example) cannot be changed. Other factors, such as being overweight, lack of exercise or smoking, are decisions that can be changed. Choosing a healthier lifestyle offers us the possibility of keeping breast cancer risk as low as possible.

Some of the known risk factors for breast cancer are found below.
1) Being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. While men also develop it, less than 1% of new cases occur in men.
2) As with many other diseases, the risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. Approximately 2 of 3 cases are found in women 55 years of age or older.
3) If a first-degree female relative (mother, sister, daughter) has been diagnosed with breast cancer, the risk is doubled. If two first-degree relatives have been diagnosed, the risk is 5 times higher than average.
4) It is believed that between 5% and 10% of breast cancers are hereditary, caused by abnormal genes that are transmitted from parents to children.
5) White women are a little more likely to develop breast cancer than African American, Latin and Asian women.
6) Compared to women who do not drink, those who consume three alcoholic beverages per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer.

While research reveals that women have a permanent 12% risk of developing breast cancer, the personal risk may be higher or lower than that figure. Personal risk is affected by numerous different factors, such as family history, reproductive history, lifestyle and environment, among others.

The Institute of Interventional Oncology (IDOI Mexico) recommends that you speak with your doctor if you are concerned about any situation you may present.