These factors increase your breast cancer risk:
- Age — Risk increases with age, especially after age 50
- Gender — Women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men, but men can get it, too
- Race — White, non-Hispanic women have the highest overall rate for breast cancer in the United States. African-American women who are ages 40 to 50 have a higher incidence than white women.
- Personal history of cancer (this may be caused by both heredity and environmental factors)
- Family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
- Early onset of menstrual periods (before the age of 12)
- No children or children born later in life
- Late menopause (after age 55)
- Use of (combined) hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and progesterone)
- Alcohol use, especially excessive use
- Overweight and lack of physical activity
- High bone density
- High breast density
How to Deal With a Scary Discovery
Finding out you might have a high risk for breast cancer can be scary - until you learn there's something you can do about it.