A “risk factor” is anything that increases your risk of developing breast cancer.  Many of the most important risk factors for breast cancer are beyond your control, such as age, family history, and medical history.  However, there are some risk factors you can control, such as weight, physical activity, and alcohol consumption.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about all your possible risk factors for breast cancer.  There may be steps you can take to lower your risk of breast cancer, and your doctor can help you come up with a plan.  Your doctor also needs to be aware of any other risk factors beyond your control, so that he or she has an accurate understanding of your level of breast cancer risk.  This can influence recommendations about breast cancer screening, what tests to have and when to start having them.

Source:  NCI   2019