A risk factor is anything that could increase the probability that you will have a disease. While they can increase your risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Additionally, just because you do not have a risk factor, does not mean you may not be diagnosed with the disease. Some risk factors can be controlled while others cannot be.

For breast cancer, some risk factors that cannot be changed are include the following:

  • Sex
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Over 55 years old
  • Family history or personal history of breast cancer
  • Early Menstrual periods
  • Dense breast tissue

Some risk factors that can be changed are the following:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Recent use of oral contraceptives
  • Excess weight above a BMI of 25
  • Unhealthy diet

To learn about risk factors and see a more comprehensive list, click here.

Want to learn more about your own personal risk? Take a self-assessment to start evaluating your risk of breast cancer, click here.

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