Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is considered to be among the foremost killers of women in the world today. It is also one of the most common types of cancer, affecting an estimated one of every four women in the United States alone. To help curb the death rate caused by this condition, it would be good for people to know what the various risk factors of breast cancer are.

Age is one prominent risk factor of breast cancer. Older women are known to be at higher risk of breast cancer than younger women. Within the time of 2000 to 2004, 95% of all new reported cases of breast cancer and 97% of the death related to the condition occurred in women who were 40 or older. It has been found that women between the ages of 75 and 79 are at the highest risk, with the incident rate nearly 465 patients for every 100,000. The condition is considered to be rare prior to the onset of menopause.

Women also have a greater risk of breast cancer of a close female relative – mother, sister, or daughter, had the cancer. The risk is particularly high if the cancer appeared before the age of 40. The threat is believed to increase if more than one relative develops the condition. This is because some breast cancers are caused by mutations in two genetic strands, and these mutations are inherited.

Women who are largely inactive in the physical sense often have an increased risk, as well. This is particularly true if they have been inactive for most of their life. The physical inactivity lowers the body's ability to fight off certain factors and conditions that puts one at increased risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise helps in breast cancer prevention by reducing the risks of obesity and weight gain.

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