Breast Cancer Risk Factors

There are some factors which may slightly increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

There are some factors which may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer development. This does not mean that if you have one or more of these factors that you will get breast cancer, but it is a good idea to get a breast assessment regularly.

Risk factors:

  • Having had a previous breast cancer.
  • Having had certain types of benign breast disease (lobular carcinoma in situ or atypical ductal hyperplasia).
  • Women who are taking certain types of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or have recently taken it, have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Younger women who take hormone replacement therapy because they have had an early menopause, or have had their ovaries removed, do not have an increased risk of breast cancer until after the age of 50.
  • Taking the contraceptive pill very slightly increases a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Women who do not have children are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer then women who have had children.
  • Women who start their periods early (early puberty) or have a late menopause have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Women who have never breastfed are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than women who have breast fed for more than a year.
  • Being overweight, especially once you have had your menopause, can increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Drinking an excess of alcohol over many years can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Reduce your risk of breast cancer by:

  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet including fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Not smoking.
  • Avoid drinking an excessive of alcohol.

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