Risk Factors of Breast Cancer
There are various risk factors of breast cancer that can be easily modified (for example alcohol use) on the other hand you cannot influence some factor (for example age). We would suggest that you should talk to your family doctor about the risks involved, whenever you start with new therapies such as, postmenopausal hormone therapy.
Discussed below are some of the risk factors for breast cancer:
Family history : If someone in the family was a victim of cancer, then the risks of breast cancer is quite higher among women. If a close relative is suffering with the disease (mother, sister, daughter) it doubles the risk factor.
Age : There are more chances of attracting breast cancer as you get older.
Personal history : If breast cancer in one of your breasts has been diagnosed, then it increases the risk of breast cancer in your other breast. There are chances of an additional cancer in the same breast as well.
Menstruation: Normally, women with an early menstrual cycle (before 12 years of age) or late menopause (after 55 years of age) have higher chances of getting breast cancers.
Race: The chances of developing breast cancer are higher among white women; on the other hand when African-American women develop breast cancer they have more aggressive tumors.
Breast tissue: It has been seen that women having dense breast tissues have more risks of breast cancer.
Breast cancer symptoms and signs:
One of the most common signs of breast cancer is formation of a new mass or lump in the breast. Few other possible signs of breast cancer are mentioned below:
- Redness of nipples
- Discharge through nipples
- Breast pain
- Nipple pain
- Dimpling and Swelling of breast
Diagnosis of breast cancer
Above mentioned signs and symptoms are used for diagnosis of breast cancer. In addition to this the screening mammography is used to detect cancers at an early stage, even before they show any signs and symptoms.
We would suggest that women more than 40 years of age should get screening mammogram done every year. It should be continued as long as they have good health.
Mammogram is one of the best screening tools used for breast cancer. However, mammograms have its limitations and there are chances that few of the cancers would be missed. You should discuss the results of your mammogram, family history and breast exams with your family doctor.