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Potential Risk Factors Associated With Breast Cancer
Breast cancer, which affects many women every day, is an illness that has no known exact cause. Despite ongoing research, physicians have found it nearly impossible to explain why one woman develops breast cancer and another does not. There are, however, several risk factors that are widely believed to increase the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer.
Although breast cancer can be diagnosed at any age, the majority of cases are found in those over the age of 60, which means that age is one of the factors believed to contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, women who have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer, such as having had it in one breast, are thought to be more likely to redevelop the illness in later years.
As with many ailments, family genes can often play a large role in the health of an individual. Breast cancer is one such illness with heredity being one of the factors thought to influence its development. For instance, a woman whose mother or sister has been previously diagnosed with breast cancer may be at a great risk for developing the illness herself. For those who have a relative that was diagnosed prior to the age of 40, the risk becomes even greater. Speaking of medical history, a woman who has undergone radiation therapy to the chest, which is required for the treatment of such illnesses as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, may be more likely to develop breast cancer.
Like issues relating to heredity, there are some risk factors that are simply beyond a woman’s control. One such example is abnormal breast cells, which can be identified through a microscope that may lead to breast cancer. In addition, women who experience their first menstrual period before reaching 12 years of age are diagnosed with menopause after the age of 55 and those who use hormone therapy as treatment may also be at a greater risk for developing breast cancer.
Among the other factors thought to increase a woman’s likelihood of developing breast cancer include breast density, which can be revealed through a mammogram, the lack of physical activity, being diagnosed as overweight and/or obese, etc. It is important to note that touching, bruising or bumping the breast is not believed to cause breast cancer.
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