Identifying Your Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissue divide without control or order, free from the normal regulative processes of the body. After cells divide like this for a certain amount of time, a mass of tissue called a growth or a tumor forms. Cancerous tumors can invade nearby tissue and spread their cells to other organs and body structures. Although many may consider breast cancer as a disease that only affects women, it can actually occur more aggressively in men. Read on to learn about common breast cancer risk factors.

  • Sex
    Women are at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer, but men can also develop the disease
  • Age
    Men and women ages 50 and older are at a higher risk for breast cancer
  • Race
    Caucasians have shown to develop this type of cancer more often than any other race
  • Family history
    If any of your close relatives have battled this disease, you may be more likely to develop it
  • Personal history
    You are at higher risk if you have already had personal history with the disease
  • Changes in certain genes
    Changes in the BRCA1, BRCA2, and other genes put you at higher risk
  • Changes in breast tissue
    Changes can include atypical ductal hyperplasia, radial scar formation, and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
  • Radiation therapy before the age of thirty
  • Overuse of alcohol
  • Increased exposure to estrogen over a lifetime through :
    • Tobacco use
    • Early onset of menstruation
    • Late onset of menopause
    • No childbearing
    • Late childbearing
    • Absence of breast-feeding
    • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Increased breast density
    This occurs when the breast contains more ductal and lobular tissue and less fatty tissue

If you are looking for further information or guidance regarding breast cancer, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here for you. Contact us at (408) 259-4000 or visit our website.

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