Every year over 14,100 women and 120 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Everyone wants to reduce their individual risk of developing breast cancer, some factors associated with risk can not be reduced and others can be altered by making changes, particularly to lifestyle

The known risks are:

  • Being female.
  • Age, most cancers develop in those over 60yrs old,but nearly 25% will be younger than 50 yrs.
  • Family history, those with a close relative such as mother, daughter or sister are more at risk.
  • Genetics, only 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be associated with faulty genes.
  • Regular alcohol is associated with an significant increased risk
  • Obesity also shown to be linked to increased risk, especially those over 50yrs
  • Smoking.
  • Dense breast tissue and some breast conditions.
  • Having a past history of breast cancer increase the chances of a new cancer in either breast.
  • Hormonal factors such as periods starting earlier in life of menopause occurring later, using some forms of hormone replacement therapy,delaying pregnancy or not having a full term pregnancy all increase risk, and breastfeeding reduces risk. Some research has also linked low Vitamin D levels with increased risk.  (induced abortion has no evidence of an increase in breast cancer risk)
  • Exercise reduces risk and not exercising has been shown to increase risk separately to weight control and obesity associated with those who do not exercise.
  • A diet low in vegetables and fruit increases risk.
  • Chemicals, there have been some reports and evidence linking certain types of plastic, eating smoked meats, pesticides, food and industrial chemicals all to slightly increasing risk
  • Radiation to the chest to treat other cancers increases risk














<- Back to: News