What are the Risk factors for Breast Cancer?

 

Dr. Shelly Sharma

Oncoradiologist, Breast Radiologist

MBBS, DNB( Radiodiagnosis ). Observorship in Breast Imaging , Mayo Clinic, USA. Fellowship in Ultrasound guided Tumor ablation , Samsung Medical Centre, South Korea. Fellowship in onco radiology , National Cancer Centre, Singapore.

 

(2 Minutes Read)

You can not prevent breast cancer but you can lower your risk of getting breast cancer by knowing the risk factors and avoiding these.

Alcohol consumption –  The risk for breast cancer increases in those women who take even few alcoholic drinks in a week. Women should avoid alcohol completely.

Obesity/ Weight gain –  Multiple studies have linked excessive body weight due to obesity or weight gain to increased risk of breast cancer after menopause. Avoid weight gain and try maintaining your weight in the healthy range.

Sedentary Lifestyle –  Don’t be a couch potato !
Being sedentary increases the risk of breast cancer , specially when coupled with obesity. Even a brisk walk when done regularly can reduce your risk of breast cancer. Exercise also has an affect on prevention of breast cancer recurrence.

Hormone use – The use of hormones as oral contraceptive pills (OCP’S) and Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in post menopausal women has been linked to a higher risk of having breast cancer. Be aware and discuss the benefits and risk with your doctor before taking these.
Vitamin D. Maintain your Vitamin D levels, which are generally low specially amongst urban population due to limited sunlight exposure and dietary factors. There is evidence to suggest that Vitamin D has a protective role against breast cancer.

Breast density –  Dense breast is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Furthermore, breast cancer can be missed in women with dense breasts and may not be seen on mammography at times. You should know your breast density and if your mammography report suggests you have dense breasts, discuss with your radiologist about what other tests can be done. You should prefer a digital mammogram and at a centre with 3D mammography available. 3D mammography has been shown to improve cancer detection in dense breasts.

This information is for general guidance and reflects the opinions and experience of the author. It is not intended to replace specialist consultation or provide treatment advice for specific cases.

 

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