Are You At Risk Of Breast Cancer?

When it comes to breast cancer, every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk. You can empower yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible by choosing the healthiest lifestyle.

Listed below are the known risk factors for breast cancer.

Established Risks

Being A Woman

Just being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. In American women, there are about 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,960 cases of non-invasive breast cancer this year.

Family History

If you have close relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, then you have a higher risk of developing the diseases. Your risk is doubled if you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer.


As you get older, your risk of breast cancer goes up. About two out of three invasive breast cancers are found in women 55 or older.


About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child.


Personal History Of Breast Cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re 3 to 4 times more likely to develop new cancer in the other breast or a different part of the same breast.

Certain Breast Changes

If you’ve been diagnosed with certain benign (not cancer) breast conditions, you may have a higher risk of breast cancer. There are several types of benign breast conditions that affect breast cancer risk.

Being Overweight

Especially after menopause, overweight and obese women have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who maintain a healthy weight. In women who have had the disease, being overweight also can increase the risk of the breast cancer coming back (recurrence).

Radiation To Chest Or Face Before Age 30

You have a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer if you had radiation to the chest to treat another cancer (not breast cancer), such as Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

You are at higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life if you had radiation to the face at an adolescent to treat acne (something that’s no longer done).

Pregnancy History

As compared to women who gave birth before age 30, those who haven’t had a full-term pregnancy or have their first child after age 30 have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Breastfeeding History

Breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than 1 year.

Menstrual History

You have a higher risk of developing cancer later in life if you started menstruating (having periods) younger than age 12. The same is true for women who go through menopause when they’re older than 55.



In younger, premenopausal women, smoking causes a number of diseases and is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. A number of studies showed that there may be a link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.

Drinking Alcohol

According to research, drinking alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and liquor, can increase a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

Lack Of Exercise

Research shows a link between exercising regularly at a moderate or intense level for 4 to 7 hours per week and a lower risk of breast cancer.

Emerging Risks

Eating Unhealthy Food

Diet is said to be at least partly responsible for about 30% to 40% of all cancers. There is no diet or food that can prevent you from getting breast cancer. However, some foods can make your body the healthiest it can be, boost your immune system, and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible.

Low Of Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is essential in controlling normal breast cell growth and may also be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing. Women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer, according to research.

Light Exposure At Night

Studies revealed that women who work at night (such as factory workers, doctors, nurses, and police officers) have a higher risk of breast cancer as compared to women who work during the day.

Furthermore, some research even suggests that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night (street lights) have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Exposure To Chemicals In Plastic

Studies suggest that certain exposure levels to some chemicals in plastic products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.

Exposure To Chemicals In Cosmetics

Some of the chemicals in cosmetics may contribute to the development of cancer in people.

Exposure To Chemicals When Food Is Grilled/Prepared

According to research, women who ate a lot of barbecued, grilled, and smoked meats and very few fruits and vegetables had a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who didn’t eat a lot of grilled meats.


Exposure To Chemicals In Food

Antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones used on crops and livestock may cause health problems in people, which include an increase in breast cancer risk. There are also concerns about mercury in seafood and industrial chemicals in food and food packaging.

Exposure To Chemicals In Water

Whether the water you drink is from home faucet or bottled water, it may not always be as safe as it could be. It may contain chemicals that may cause cancer.

Exposure To Chemicals In Sunscreen

Chemicals can protect you against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. However, research strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in some sunscreen products may cause cancer in people.