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Who gets breast cancer?

Breast cancer primarily affects females, however approximately 1 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men. Any woman is at risk, and her risk of getting breast cancer increases with age.

Being female — regardless of age or ethnicity — is the number one risk factor for breast cancer. Aside from gender, there are other factors that may further any woman’s chance of getting breast cancer.

Women with personal or family histories of either breast cancer or ovarian cancer are at high risk, as are women with certain genetic abnormalities such as BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 genes. Additionally, women who begin their menstrual cycles before age 12 or began menopause before age 50 are at higher risk for breast cancer. Women who are overweight and inactice are at high risk. Long term use of hormone replacement therapy and radiation therapy to the chest increase a woman’s risk, as well.

Because the majority of breast cancer cases occur in women without any of the previous risk factors, lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise are also believed to contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Posted in: Breast Cancer