Breast Cancer Risks
A breast cancer risk is anything that makes it more likely you’ll get breast cancer.
Some of the risk factors to be aware of are:
- Being female - women are more likely than men to develop breast cancer.
- Increasing age – your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age.
- A family history of breast cancer – if your mother, sister or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is increased.
- A personal history of breast cancer – if you have had breast cancer before.
- Having children – women who have had no children or have their first child over age 30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk.
It’s important to note that having one or more risk factors, does not mean you’ll develop breast cancer and there are many changes you can make in your daily life to reduce your risk.
Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening and discuss with them when the appropriate time to begin screenings like self-breast exams, clinical breast exams and mammograms is. Everyone’s risks factors and history are different so deciding what is right for your specific case is important.
Self-breast exams are a great way to understand the normal changes that breasts go through and can help you identify any changes and symptoms early on.
Drinking in moderation and exercising most days of the week can also help you reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. There is a 25% risk reduction with physical activity. Find something you enjoy doing – take a walk, sign up for dance lessons, ride your bike, go for a hike. Aim for at least 30 minutes each day.
Talk to you doctor about what exams, tests and risk reduction changes are best for you. Partner with your doctor on your healthcare journey, take charge of your health, ask questions and make decisions together.