BREAST CANCER RISK FACTORS REVIEWED

Jun 5th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Senior women need to be reminded every now and then about the risk factors for breast cancer. The reason, of course, is that we are at the highest risk because we are female and we are aging. There are some additional factors we need to review so we can remain alert to any signs and symptoms that flare up.

A good website online that provides up to date information about breast cancer is The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Senior women readers may want to bookmark that site and return to it often for updates.  The following list is based on information found on the BCRF site:

  • Family history:you are at higher risk of breast cancer if you have a mother, sister or daughter who had had the disease; also of concern is having a cousin or aunt who has been diagnosed with breast cancer;
  • Menstrual history: risk increases if you began menstruating before 12 or completed menopause after age 55;
  • Oral contraceptives: slightly greater risk if you take the pill or have taken it in the last 10 years;
  • Children: greater risk if you never had children or had your first child after age 30;
  • Alcohol: greater risk if you consume one or more alcoholic drinks a day;
  • Weight: greater risk if you are overweight, especially after menopause;
  • Chest radiation therapy: greater risk if you had this as a child or young adult;
  • Genetic mutations: greater risk if you carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation;
  • High breast tissue density: check with your primary care physician about this one; it’s a measure of the amount of glandular tissue relative to fatty tissue in the breast;
  • Post menopausal hormone therapy: greater risk with combined estrogen and progestin therapy
  • Physical inactivity: greater risk if you are a couch potato

Take a look at this list every once in a while.  We senior women all need to remain alert to possible signs of breast cancer.



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