Risk Factors for Breast Cancer and Prevention

Tempo de leitura: 5 minutos 
 

In the 1940s, the risk of a woman developing breast cancer was 5%, or one in 20 women.

Perhaps there was an under-reporting at that time, but it is certain that risk has increased.

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Nowadays, the risk is just over 12%, or one every 8-9 women.

In many cases, it is not known why a woman has breast cancer. In fact, about half of all women with breast cancer have no known risk factors.

Read the facts about breast cancer .

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR BREAST CANCER?

Different cancers have different risk factors.

However, having a risk factor for cancer, or even several, does not necessarily mean that a person will have cancer.

Risk factors for breast cancer and prevention Some women with one or more factors never develop the disease, while about half of women with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors.

Read about  alert signs and symptoms of cancer. .

SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER RISK

– HISTORY

A woman with a history of cancer in one breast, as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer is 3-4 times more likely to develop a new breast cancer, unrelated to the first, in the other breast or another part of the same breast. This is different from a recurrence of the previous tumor.

– AGE

Risk factors for breast cancer and prevention

The risk of breast cancer increases with age and, according to the American Cancer Society, risk, compliance, age is as follows:
  • 20 at 29: 1 in 1760
  • 30 at 39: 1 in 229
  • 40 to 49: 1 in 69
  • 50 at 59: 1 in 42
  • 60 to 69 years: 1 in 29
  • 70 years or more: 1 in 27
  • Over a lifetime: 1 in 8

About 77% of women diagnosed are over 50 years and almost 50% are 65 or older.

MODERATELY HIGHER RISK

– DIRECT FAMILY HISTORY

Having a  first – degree relative, ie  the mother, sister or daughter  with breast cancer almost doubles the chance and have two first – degree relatives triples.

The risk is even greater if this relative develops the malignancy before  menopause  or have cancer in both breasts.

Having a relative gender  male with breast cancer also increase the risk of a woman to the disease.

– GENETICS

About 5% to 10% of cases of breast cancer is considered hereditary.

Such cases occur in women who are carriers of changes in any of the two genes of familial breast cancer called BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Women with an inherited alteration in the BRCA1 gene have a chance of 55% to 65% of developing breast cancer during her life, and those with an inherited change in the BRCA2 gene have up to 45% chance.

– BREAST LESIONS

A  biopsy of breast  earlier with atypical hyperplasia (lobular or ductal) or  lobular carcinoma  in situ increases the chance of malignancy breast of a woman in 4 to 5 times.

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SLIGHTLY HIGHER RISK

– DISTANT FAMILY HISTORY

Breast cancer cases in second or third degree relatives, such as aunts, grandparents and cousins.

– PREVIOUS ABNORMAL BREAST BIOPSY

Women with previous biopsies showing any of the following changes have a slightly increased risk:

  • Fibroadenomas with complex characteristics;
  • Hyperplasia without atypia;
  • Sclerosing adenosis;
  • solitary papilloma.

– AGE AT BIRTH OF FIRST CHILD

Have their first child after age 35 or never having children raises the chance.

– EARLY MENSTRUATION

The prolonged exposure to endogenous estrogen (produced by the body itself) increases the risk.

If menstruation begins before age 12 and menopause after 55 years, exposure during life is long, especially if the woman ever conceive.

– WEIGHT

Being overweight with excess fat and calorie intake, increase the chance, particularly after menopause.

– EXCESSIVE RADIATION

This is especially true for women who have been exposed to a lot of radiation before age 30 – often as a treatment for cancers such as lymphoma.

– ANOTHER CANCER IN THE FAMILY

If a family member has ovarian cancer with less than 50 years, risk increase.

– ALCOHOL

Alcohol is linked to increased propensity.

Compared with women who did not ingest alcohol, consuming one dose per day have a very small increase in risk, and those who take from 2 to 5 daily doses are about 1.5 times the relative risk for women who do not drink ..

– HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT) AND ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE USE

Hormone therapy  with estrogen and progesterone combination  for more than three to five years increases the chance of breast cancer.

This risk seems to return to the general population after stopping HRT for five years or more.

Some studies have suggested that women who are using birth control pills have a slightly higher risk that disappears after suspending this contraceptive for 10 years or more.

LOW RISK

Risk factors for breast cancer and prevention

– LESS LIFETIME EXPOSURE TO ENDOGENOUS ESTROGEN

Having a pregnancy before age 18, start menopause early and remove the ovaries before 37 years reduce risk.

– BREAST-FEEDING

A breastfeeding woman has a smaller chance of developing this disease.

FACTORS NOT RELATED TO BREAST CANCER

  • Fibrocystic breast changes (read about benign breast tumors );
  • Multiple pregnancy;
  • Intake of coffee or caffeine;
  • Use of anti-perspirants;
  • Use bras underwire;
  • Use of hair dye;
  • Suffering a miscarriage or abortion;
  • Use breast implants.

It is still under investigation whether smoking, eating high-fat diets, lack of exercise and environmental pollution increase the risk.

7 STEPS TO REDUCE THE RISK

Changes in lifestyle can decrease the chance, even in women at high risk.

The following are the steps that can be followed:

  1. Limit alcohol intake.  The more alcohol consumed, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation – is limited to less than 1 dose per day, since studies have shown that even small amounts increase the chance.
  2. Do not smoke.  Although not a certainty, but some evidence shows a link between smoking and breast cancer, especially in women who are premenopausal.
  3. Control weight.  Being overweight or obese increases the risk. This is particularly true if obesity occurs later, after menopause.
  4. Healthy eating.  Eat a healthy diet with 5-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables and include whole grains, and reduce the consumption of red meat and choose organic products when possible.
  5. Being physically active.  Physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and may help prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, with strength training at least twice a week.
  6. Breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding may play a role in preventing breast cancer and may provide protective effects.
  7. Limiting the dose and duration of hormone therapy.  You should use the lowest possible dose and for a limited time.

See our section on  Food and Diets  and the session on  Physical Activity and Fitness .

Risk factors for breast cancer and prevention

REFERENCES

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