Understanding Unavoidable Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Unavoidable risk factors for breast cancer are thing that we cannot control, including: 

  • Family History of Breast Cancer: Having a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer nearly doubles a woman's risk of developing the disease.
  • Aging: Risk for breast cancer increases with age.
  • Being Female: Although men can also develop breast cancer, this disease is far more prevalent in women.
  • Dense Breast Tissue: Women with dense breast tissue have a risk of developing breast cancer that is 1.5-2x higher than women without dense breast tissue.
  • Possessing a Genetic Mutation: Approximately 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be caused by hereditary gene mutations. Such mutations include:
    • A BRCA1 or BRCA2 Gene Mutation: Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have a 70% risk of developing breast cancer by age 80. Possessing a BRCA mutation also increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer at a younger age. These mutations are typically more common in women of Eastern European Jewish (Ashkenazi) heritage.
    • Other Gene Mutations Include: ATM, CDH1, CHEK2, PALB2, PTEN, STK11, and TP53.


This is an excerpt from a post written by Food Period and originally published on October 10, 2019.

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