12 Breast cancer-causing risk factors

Some of the breast cancer risk factors can be modified (such as alcohol use) while others cannot be influenced (such as age). It is important to discuss these risks with your health care professional. The following are risk factors for breast cancer.breast cancer


The chances of breast cancer increase as you grow older.

Family history:

The risk of breast cancer is higher among those who have history of breast cancer running in their families.

Personal history:

Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast increases the risk of cancer in the other breast or the chance of an additional cancer in the original breast. Those diagnosed with some benign breast conditions have an increased risk of breast cancer. These include atypical hyperplasia, a condition in which there is abnormal proliferation of breast cells but no cancer has developed.


Women who get their periods at a younger age (before 12) or hit menopause after 55 should opt for timely check-ups

Breast tissue:

Women with dense breast tissue (as documented by mammogram) have a higher risk of breast cancer.


White women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, but African-American women tend to have more aggressive tumors when they do develop breast cancer.


Exposure to previous chest radiation or use of diethylstilbestrol increases the risk of breast cancer.

Late children:

Having no children or the first child after the age of 30 increases the risk of breast cancer. Also, breastfeeding for 1 ½ to 2 years might slightly lower the risk of breast cancer.

Weighty issues:

Being overweight or obesity increases the risk of breast cancer. Exercise may help lower the risk of breast cancer.

Oral contraceptives:

Use of oral contraceptives for long increases the risk of breast cancer.

Hormone therapy:

Using combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer.


Consuming alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, and it appears to be proportional to the amount of alcohol used.

What do you think?

Written by Smita Diwan

Smita Diwan is a Media & Communication evangelist with 15+ years of steady growth. She has served across diverse verticals of Broadcast Journalism, Corporate Communications, Digital Media and Public Relations. A fitness enthusiast, Smita devotes her ‘rare’ free-time to yoga and meditation. As she strongly believes that the right balance is the key to steady growth.

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