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Risk Factor for Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Specialist in Bangalore | Dr. Murali Subramanian

The rate of new breast cancer cases is in rapid hike nowadays. As per WHO’s analysis, this rate might increase to 50% by the end of 2020, with around 15 million new cases.

While things are going beyond our hands, still we can at least remain conscious about this disease to ensure a better handling plan for it.

In this article, let’s know about the various risk factors that boost up the possibility of breast cancer.

Risk Factors | Breast Cancer Specialist in Bangalore

The risk factor for breast cancer is mapped under two types:

  1. Controllable
  2. Uncontrollable

1. Controllable factors

  • Obesity. Besides breast cancer, obesity has become an additional threat to the entire world. Among all of its downsides, the increased risk of breast cancer is the most concerning one. Apart from general obesity, most of the women face post-menopausal weight gaining. Excessive fat tissues boost up the estrogen level, leading to a higher risk of breast cancer. Weight gain during adulthood and excessive fat around the waist also increase the risk.
  • Diet. Ongoing researches indicate consumption of foods with a higher level of fat increase the risk of breast cancer. Tans-fat rich foods, processed meat, smoked foods fall under this category.
Controllable Factors | Breast Cancer Specialist in Bangalore
  • Alcohol consumption. I have found many women saying that they consume a limited amount of alcohol. But the fact is, even a small amount of alcohol opens up the possibility of breast cancer. The percentage of risk rises as the alcohol consumption amount increases.  
  • Smoking: Although it has the lowest effect on breast cancer, still it smoking boosts the risk of breast cancer by 1 percent. 
  • Oral Contraceptive pill: Use of oral contraceptive pill also increases the risk of breast cancer to some extent. However, the risk persists only up to 10 years after you stop taking the pills. 

These were the risk factors that you can control by changing your lifestyles a bit.

2. Uncontrollable Factors

  • Age: Here, you have to accept a hard truth. As you are growing older, the more you are getting exposed to the risk of breast cancer. The possibility of breast cancer is 1 in 225 women between the ages of 30 to 39 but for age above 60, the number becomes 1 in 29.
  • Gender: While women are more exposed to breast cancer due to ever-changing breast cell growth and the activities of the female hormone, men can also suffer from this disease.
  • Race: Researches and surveys reveal that European women are more likely to get attacked by breast cancer than Asian and Native American women. 
  • Family and personal history of breast cancer. Sorry to say, but if your first degrees relative like mother, father, sister has a history of breast cancer then you are at a high risk of disease. The risk factor becomes stronger for you if your relative had breast cancer before the age of 50.
  • Radiation therapy. If you received any chest radiation therapy in your childhood and young adult stage of life, then you might get breast cancer at a later age. 
Uncontrollable factors | Breast Cancer Specialist in Bangalore
  • Exposure to estrogen. Estrogen exposure for a longer period, without any break, facilitates the risk of breast cancer. Due to this reason, if your menstrual cycle starts earlier than normal age, like at 12 or lasts for late ager, after 55, you might have greater degrees of breast cancer risk. 
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women having no history of full-term pregnancy or pregnancy after 30 are more prone to the breast cancer risk. Breastfeeding also plays a vital role in this regard. Women, who stopped breastfeeding before the 1.5 year or 2 years age of their baby bear the greater risk of breast cancer than the women, those could continue the breastfeeding up to this certain age.  
  • DES exposure. From the year 1940 to 1971, diethylstilbestrol (DES) was randomly used to prevent miscarriages. Women, who consumed these medicines, are now bear a very high risk of breast cancer. 
  • Combined post-menopausal hormone therapy (PHT). I found women are now becoming more interested in PHT to get rid of the irritating symptoms they face after menopause. As the biggest side-effect of this therapy, you become more exposed to breast cancer risk. Besides, you might be diagnosed with breast cancer at a more advanced stage due to this therapy.

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