Understanding Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Every woman is at risk for breast cancer. Risk factors are simply traits that may increase your chances of getting breast cancer, not indications that you definitely will or will not have the disease. It is best to see one of our breast health specialists if you feel you may be at risk. They have expertise in diagnostic technologies and risk education that can better determine your next step.
Experienced providers at UPMC are passionate about educating our community about the risk factors for breast cancer in Williamsport, PA. To learn more about how to minimize your risk for developing cancer, Find a Provider at UPMC.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
- Age. As a woman ages, her risk of breast cancer increases. About 77% of women with breast cancer are over age 50 when diagnosed.
- Family history. Your risk may be greater if your mother, sister or daughter has had breast cancer. However, 80% of all breast cancer cases occur in women with no family history of the disease.
- Breast conditions. Certain conditions such as fibrocystic changes, benign breast tumors or breast inflammation may all be non-cancerous, but raise a warning flag. Be diligent by receiving regular screenings.
- Menstrual cycle. Women who have had either an early first period, before age 12, or started menopause after age 50 have a slightly increased risk for breast cancer. The longer the female hormone estrogen has been active in your body, the greater your risk.
- Having no children. Women who have never given birth have experienced continuous menstrual cycles until menopause and, therefore, increased exposure to estrogen.
- Having first pregnancy after age 30. Subjecting your body to hormonal changes later in life may contribute to breast cancer risk.
Breast Cancer Risk Assessment at UPMC
Skilled, advanced practice registered nurses at the Breast Health Center can examine your health history, family history, and your lifestyle habits to discuss cancer risk factors with you. This breast cancer risk assessment can help you understand and adjust your lifestyle, taking risk factors for breast cancer into account.
Check out our list of breast cancer prevention tips that can help you live a healthy lifestyle and decrease your risk.
Meet with a provider at UPMC to learn more about breast cancer risk factors in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.