Health, Pink October

[PinkOcto] Assessing your risk

Breast cancer is one cancer where your lifestyle choices don’t really play a part in your risk of getting it. In fact, it’s determined almost solely by your genes and age (the latter to a very small extent).

Here’s some interesting information to keep in mind when assessing risk of breast cancer:

Blood family members with breast cancer
Yes, this does increase your chances of getting breast cancer, particularly if you have a sister or mother who has had breast cancer. If this is the case, then speak to your doctor about the risks. Screening often may be an option to lower your risk of getting breast cancer.

Age
The older you are, the higher the risk of breast cancer. This is especially so for women who have hit menopause. After the age of 40, women are highly encouraged to get mammograms yearly to screen for breast cancer.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
This is possibly one of the few lifestyle choices a woman can make to control her risk of breast cancer. Research shows that combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (aka estrogen and progestin and others) may increase your risk. Interestingly, women who put on weight after menopause but are on HRT actually have a slightly lower risk of getting breast cancer, but considering that HRT increases your risk of other cancers…

Assess your understanding about breast cancer and its risks here.