Breast Cancer Risk Factors

One in nine women in North America will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Research shows that you can lower your risk of developing breast cancer, or dying from it, by minimizing modifiable lifestyle / environmental risk factors and through early detection methods.

Researchers have identified some known risk factors. We also list possible risk factors. Having several risk factors does not mean that you will get breast cancer. Conversely, not having any risk factors does not eliminate your chances of getting breast cancer. As unfair as this seems, the number one risk factor for breast cancer is simply owning breasts; particularly female, although men can get breast cancer too.

Known Breast Cancer Risk Factors as stated by Health Canada:

  • Gender: More than 99% of breast cancers occur in women
  • Age: risk increases as you get older
  • Early menstruation (before the age of 12)
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Having a first baby after age 30 or never having a baby
  • Having a close relative with breast cancer
  • Being physically inactive
  • Being overweight

Possible Breast Cancer Risk Factors as stated by Health Canada:

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Breast Cancer Risk Factors