Breast Cancer Risk Factors

When evaluating if you at are risk for breast cancer, multiple factors play a role. Some of those factors are controllable while others such as gender and family history are beyond one’s control. Factors that can increase risk of breast cancer include:

  • Gender – Women are at higher risk than men.
  • Age – Risk increases with age.
  • Personal History – Breast abnormalities (atypical hyperplasia) and/or cancer, and breast biopsies.
  • Family History – Family history of breast or ovarian cancer, particularly the number of first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) with breast cancer.
  • Menstrual Periods – Menstruation at a young age (younger than 12 years old), having gone through menopause at a late age (older than 55 years old).
  • Pregnancy History – First pregnancy later in life (after age 30) or never having had a pregnancy.
  • Prior Radiation Therapy – If you had radiation therapy to the chest as a child or young adult such as treatment for Hodgkin’s disease.
  • Exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) – If you took diethylstilbestrol (was given in the 1940s-60s, to try to decrease the chance of miscarriage) or if your mother took DES.
  • Dense Breast Tissue – Increased breast density on mammography makes it more difficult to spot abnormalities.
  • Alcohol Use – Those who have two to five drinks daily have about 1-1/2 times the risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who drink no alcohol.
  • Obesity – Being overweight or obese has been found to increase breast cancer risk, especially for women after menopause.

Patient Stories

  • I am grateful to RWJBarnabas Health and the Center for Diabetes Wellness and Prevention for having the program.

    Read More
  • “I thank them all from the bottom of my heart and I feel like I really do owe them my life.”

    Tiffani and Christina
    Read More
  • Lisa made me feel at ease immediately. She tested my voice, suggested voice exercises, role modeled them, and allowed my son to take video of me mirror imaging Lisa for practice at home

    Read More

Patient Stories

  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial