Do you know that ALL women are at risk of breast cancer? Do you know that breast cancer is the second leading cause of deaths in women today, after lung cancer? Do you know that the average woman has a 12% to 13% risk of developing breast cancer? Well this may sound scary. However, the good news is, prevention is possible! know your risk factors to attack Breast Cancer before it attacks you!
Risk Factors can change the likelihood that someone may develop breast cancer; here is what you need to know about those risk factors.
So, what are the breast cancer risk factors?
Your risk of breast cancer increase as you age. About 8 out of 10 cases of breast cancer occur in women over 50 who had gone through menopause.
Although most cases of breast cancer aren’t hereditary, there are some genes that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. If one or more relative was diagnosed with breast cancer, it is advised to do regular screening.
Using hormone replacement therapy to relieve the symptoms of menopause or using birth control pills for prolonged periods of time can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Being overweight or obese:
Being overweight or obese especially after menopause increase the body’s production of estrogen which increases the risk of breast cancer.
If you had started your menstrual cycle before the age of 12 and/or had experienced menopause after the age of 55; you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
The Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE) encourages women in their 20’s to have a clinical breast exam every 3 years and a yearly exam starting the age of 40. For women above 40 years of age, it is recommended they do an annual mammogram screening.
However, women of any age are highly advised to see a doctor immediately if they any of the below symptoms appear:
Breast Cancer Symptoms
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area.
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast.
- Change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast.
- Nipple discharge that started suddenly.
- Pain in one spot of the breast that does not go away.
Check out the interactive breast cancer assessment tool by the American National Cancer Institute (NCI) that can help you and your doctor figure out your individual risk of invasive breast cancer.