Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

12 Dec

Being aware of breast cancer risk factors is the best way to determine and identify how you can reduce your risk. Keep in mind that risk statistics can be confusing. Before making sweeping changes based on the latest news headline, talk to your doctor about what a given statistic or risk factor means for you. Breast factors include:

Beginning female

Increasing age

Prior history of breast cancer or precancerous breast lesions

History of radiation to the chest

Family history of breast or ovarian cancer

An inherited genetic mutation

Dense breasts on a mammogram

Obesity after menopause

Longer estrogen exposure (early menstruation and late menopause)

Use of combined menopausal hormone therapy

Use of the medication diethylstilbestrol (DES)

Alcohol consumption

Smoking

Never having children

Source:  Supplement to Mayo Clinic Health Letter August 2016

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