Breast Cancer: Know 10 factors that put you at a higher risk

Updated at: Dec 03, 2018
Breast Cancer: Know 10 factors that put you at a higher risk

There are certain risk factors which you can control and change to stop development of breast cancer in your body.

Varsha Vats
CancerWritten by: Varsha VatsPublished at: Nov 29, 2018

Breast cancer develops when the cells of the breast become abnormal. The number of cases of breast cancer is increasing day by day. Lump in the breast- is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Other symptoms include redness or swelling of breast tissue, change in shape of the breast, scaliness of skin around the breast, nipple discharge, change in shape of the nipple, lump near armpits or around the neck. There are many factors that lead to breast cancer. These risk factors increase the chances of development of breast cancer in a woman's body. Some of the risk factors are modifiable while others are non-modifiable. You can make simple lifestyle changes that can help you reduce the impact of these risk factors, to avoid the development of breast cancer. Here are some factors which put you at a bigger risk.

Alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption is linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Even a few drinks are considered harmful to women. Alcohol increases estrogen level in the body. Various studies have claimed that alcohol consumption is one of the biggest causes of cancer. Most of the cases of breast cancer are alcohol-related.

Also read: Even Occasional Drinks are Harmful, says a recent study

Being overweight

Being overweight is another common risk factor of breast cancer. Obesity triggers the development of breast cancer in women, especially after menopause.  It is one of the modifiable risk factors. You must increase your physical activity to lose weight to stop the development of breast cancer. Women who are overweight have higher levels of estrogen as well as insulin, which can trigger breast cancer.

Late pregnancy

Your age at childbirth is also a risk factor of breast cancer. Women who have their first child after the age of 35 or never had a child have more chances of developing breast cancer. You must try to get pregnant before the age of 35 to avoid any possibility of breast cancer.

Family history

Women with a family history of breast cancer are more prone to the disease. If you have a family history of breast cancer then you should get yourself screened at an early age. This will help you detect any possible symptom at its early stage. It is one of the non-modifiable risk factors.

Also read: Expert talk: Self examination for breast cancer and other related risks


Age is also a non-modifiable risk factor. It is an important risk factor for breast cancer. Women who are above 40 are more likely to suffer from breast cancer. But if it is genetic then breast cancer can develop at an early age.

Early menstruation

Early menstruation means more menstrual cycles in your lifetime which means more exposure to estrogen. If you got your first period before the age of 12, then you are at a higher risk of development of breast cancer. 

You must self-examine yourself on a regular basis to detect any symptom of breast cancer. You must carefully watch whether there is any change in the breast tissue or any kind of swelling. If there is a lump in your breast then you must visit your doctor immediately.

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