Health Risk Assessment: Evaluating Your Risk for Breast Cancer

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How do I assess my risk for breast cancer?

Health Risk Assessment: Evaluating Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a concern to many women in the United States, and rightfully so. Although breast cancer is more common among women over 40, it is not unheard of for women in their twenties or thirties.

With 180,000 American women diagnosed each year, it is the number one cancer among women. Men are not immune, however, with 1,600 American men diagnosed with breast cancer yearly.

Your health risk assessment for breast cancer is affected by the many risk factors listed below.

Age – Risk for breast cancer increases after 40, with the average diagnosis age being 62.

Gender – Men can get breast cancer, but 99 percent of cases in the U.S. occur in women.

Height and Weight – Women of above average height are at an increased breast cancer risk, as are women who are overweight.

Alcohol – Consuming more than one drink daily can increase breast cancer risk.

Age at first period – Early onset of menstruation increases risk.

Age at first birth – Having the first child at a late age can increase breast cancer risk.

Age at menopause – Later menopause can increase breast cancer risk.

Number of births – Women who birth fewer than two children have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Birth control pills – The Pill increases breast cancer risk.

Family history – Because cancerous mutations can be hereditary, a mother or sister with the disease increases risk.

Jewish ethnicity – Women of Jewish descent are at increased risk.

   

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