Some women are at higher risk for developing breast cancer than others.
Anyone can get cancer, but some people have risk factors that may increase their chances. Certain risk factors, such as gender, are out of your control, and they do not necessarily mean you will get the disease. Even so, it is important to understand if you are at risk.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Some of the women had several risk factors but it’s still hard to know just how much they contributed.
Risk Factors that are Out of Your Control
Breast cancer risk factors that women cannot change include:
- Gender. Women are more likely to develop breast cancer than men.
- Age. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
- Race / ethnicity
- Family history of breast cancer
- Age of first period and onset of menopause
Risk Factors that are Lifestyle-Related
Breast cancer risk factors that are related to lifestyle choices include:
- Having children. Women who haven’t had any children and women who had their first baby after age 30 may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding. Women who breastfed their babies may have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer.
- Birth control. Women who used birth control pills may have a higher risk.
- Hormone therapy. Women who received hormone therapy to relieve menopause symptoms may have a higher risk due to increased estrogen.
- Alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol has been found to increase the risk of developing most cancers.
- Weight. Being overweight or obese after menopause increases breast cancer risk.
- Physical activity. Exercise has been found to lower the risk of developing breast cancer.
Denton Regional Medical Center encourages you to understand your risk factors for cancer and other diseases and make healthy lifestyle choices. If you need a physician referral, please call 1-855-477-DRMC.
Don't forget, we offer free yoga classes to breast cancer patients and survivors in the Denton area every Tuesday in the Denton Regional Education Building, located behind the hospital. Contact Judy Jeanes at (940) 384-3990 for more information or to reserve your spot.