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Breast Cancer | Risk Factors

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

How do I know if I am at risk for breast cancer?How do I know if I am at risk for breast cancer?

Many women worry about breast cancer after their hysterectomy, especially if hormone replacement (HRT) is being considered. Since breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women—current studies (2002) show that 12% of women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime—this is a valid concern. Rather than fear and worry, however, it is better to be informed of risk factors so you can appropriately assess your risk. The following factors are widely accepted risk factors for breast cancer. Keep in mind, however, that this list is not comprehensive, and it is possible to develop cancer without any of these factors.
  • Aging
  • Genetics (i.e. having a family history of breast cancer or certain related mutations)
  • Personal history (i.e. having a previous breast condition, benign or cancerous)
  • Poor lifestyle choices (i.e. being overweight, drinking alcohol, and/or smoking)
  • Radiation exposure
  • Beginning your period before age 12
  • Beginning menopause after age 55
  • Having your first child after age 35
  • Never getting pregnant
  • Taking combined (estrogen + progesterone) hormone therapy

If you found yourself putting mental checkmarks by several of these items, be sure to talk to your physician about early intervention. The sooner you find and fight cancer, the better your chances are of beating it.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other hysterectomy patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

04-12-2003 - 04:14 PM


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