Understanding Your Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women in the United States. Survival rates have increased, largely due to early detection, updated and personalized approaches to treatment, and greater knowledge of the disease. 

October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to figure out your personal risk factors for breast cancer. Understanding your risk factors may encourage you to take measures to help ensure that diagnosis is not delayed and potentially add years to your life.

With his extensive training and experience in women’s health, Robert Rubin, MD at Improving Your Health in Naples and Tampa, Florida, prioritizes early breast cancer detection and education among his patients. Read on to learn about leading risk factors for this disease.

Age and sex

While anyone can develop breast cancer, being of the female sex increases your risk. In fact, breast cancer is 100 times more common in females compared to males. This risk factor includes both cisgender women and transgender women who’ve opted for estrogen-based hormone treatment. 

Your age also plays a role in your likelihood of developing breast cancer. As your age increases, so does your risk, especially from middle age or menopause on. Other age-related breast cancer risk factors include:

Regular breast checks can help you detect lumps and bumps associated with breast cancer, no matter your age or sex.

Family history and inherited genes

If you have a family history of breast cancer, you’re more likely to develop breast cancer than someone who does not. In some cases, this derives from a particular gene mutation that’s been passed from parents to children. 

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most well-known of these mutations. Because they greatly raise the risk for breast cancer, genetic testing leads some people with a family history of the disease to take measures such as earlier or more frequent mammograms or opting for a preventative mastectomy.

Lifestyle factors

Although age, sex, and genetics are the most promiment risk factors for breast cancer, your lifestyle may contribute as well. Carrying excess body weight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and regularly drinking alcohol, for example, may increase your odds. A consistent lack of sleep might have a similar effect, according to research

On the flip side, exercising 4-7 hours per week and leading an overall healthy lifestyle by eating primarily nutritious foods, cultivating healthy sleep habits, and limiting alcohol consumption may provide some amount of protection from breast cancer. 

To learn more about your own breast cancer risk factors or schedule an appointment, call our office or request an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How a Hormone Imbalance Impacts Your Weight

If you’re suddenly gaining or losing weight or can’t seem to shed excess pounds, you may be dealing with a hormone imbalance. This common condition can impact the way your body uses food, your energy levels, your weight.

The Many Benefits of Functional Medicine

If you’re interested in full-body health or wish to avoid medications and surgeries as much as possible, look no further than functional medicine. This holistic approach can benefit your wellness in significant and lasting ways.

Benefits of Sarcotropin Therapy

Feeling less vibrant or fit as you age? You may want to consider Sarcotropin therapy, a noninvasive treatment aimed at improving quality of life and vitality.