Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. It is estimated that one in every eight women will develop this cancer in the course of their life. It is also worth noting that cancer of the breast also affects men. There have been efforts to create awareness among the people about this cancer by various entities. One of the groups that do a lot in creating awareness about breast cancer is the American Cancer Society that holds several events such as annual walks to raise funds. One of such walks was the american cancer society walk 2013 that recorded a very high turnout of breast cancer survivors, their families and their friends not forgetting the general public. You may wonder what makes one person more likely to get breast cancer than another. This article looks into those breast cancer risk factors.
Common breast cancer risk factors
There are higher chances of women getting breast cancer than men. Women have more of the hormone known as estrogen that is responsible for the reproductive system development and regulation. This hormone cause cell multiplication in the breast and may cause breast cancer if it happens abnormally.
The likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age. Women over the age of sixty are more likely to get cancer than their younger counterparts. The genes that regulate the body functions are affected by age. There are more chances of an error occurring in the coding of genes at an old age than at a young age resulting in cancer.
Breast Cancer cases in the family
There are higher chances of one getting breast cancer if a close relative such as a mother, a sister or a daughter had cancer. It is estimated if such relatives had cancer, a woman is twice more likely to get this cancer than if none of such relatives was affected by it. Also, having a relative who got cancer at less than forty years of age make a woman more likely to develop this cancer.
Previous cancer incidence
A woman who had one of her breasts get this cancer is more likely to have the other one get affected than one who has not had. There is a likelihood of three to four times of the other breast getting cancer.
There are higher chances of getting breast cancer for the women who start menstruating before twelve than for their counterparts who start after twelve years of age. Also, the likelihood is high for those that enter menopause after fifty-five years than those who entered earlier. Early onset of menses and late menopause make the breast to be exposed to more cycles of the hormones increase the chances of getting breast cancer.
There is more likelihood of white women getting breast cancer than the women of African descent. That notwithstanding, the African women are more likely to die from breast cancer than the white ones as they get more hostiles types of the cancer of the breast.
Generally, breast cancer’s incidence increases with gender, age, previous cases of cancer in the family, and a prior case of cancer in the other breast. The incidence is also dependent on the length of years of menstruating and one’s racial background.