Risk Factors Associated with Breast Cancer

by Natalie on March 18, 2011

What are the risk factors associated with breast cancer?  I knew that I was at a greater risk of developing breast cancer due to family history, but until recently, no one else in my family had the disease.  According the the American Cancer Society, over 85% of women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.  This got me wondering about the other possible factors that put women at risk.

I found two great articles about these risk factors from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).  One risk factor that I found particularly interesting in the AICR article, is there is “convincing evidence” that being tall as an adult can increase post-menopausal risk and “probable evidence” that it increases pre-menopausal risk.  Being 5’9” this one affects me, but I am not concerned about it because, frankly,  there is nothing I can do about it.  I also enjoy being tall very much!  I will continue to focus on the factors I can control, such as diet and exercise.

Hopefully you will find these informative.  While it is good to know all the risk factors, try not to fret too much about the one’s you can’t control.  Another thing to keep in mind is that risk factors are correlations but not causes.  Having one or more risk factors means you may have an increased chance but does not mean you will definitely get the disease.

Stay tuned for Tuesday’s post as I will look deeper into a specific dietary risk factor: alcohol.

~~Natalie

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photo by: SCA Svenska Cellulosa

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