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Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Self-Exam TipsWhen to Seek Help

No one can predict if you will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. Research has shown that there are several risk factors that might increase your chance of developing the disease. The doctors and staff at the San Juan Cancer Center at Montrose Regional Health recommend you talk with your care provider to assess your specific risk factors.

Following is a list of risk factors to discuss:

  • Family history of breast cancer:  If your mother, sister or other close relative has had breast cancer especially at a young age such as before 40.
  • Age:  The chance of getting breast cancer increases as you age. Most breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50.
  • Childbearing and menstrual history:  The risk of breast cancer increases for women who had their first menstrual period at an early before the age of 12; women who go through menopause late after 55 years of age; women who have never had children; and women who have their first child at a later age.
  • Personal history:  Anyone who has had breast cancer in one breast is at a higher risk to get it in the other breast.
  • Genetic factors: Women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are at a higher risk.

Once again, don’t assume that you will get breast cancer if any of these risk factors apply to you. Continue with your monthly self-exams, scheduled screenings such as mammograms and annual check-ups.
Early detection is the #1 way to beat breast cancer!