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.