Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in American women, aside from skin cancer. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer at some point is about 13-percent, says the American Cancer Society. For the most part, the risks of breast cancer are outside a person’s control, but there are a few lifestyle choices that may make a difference.
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Having one of the following risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer. Sometimes cancer develops in women without any of these risk factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most women have a number of these risk factors and do not get breast cancer. However, if you have some, it might be worth talking to your doctor about how to decrease risk and when to get a screening test.
Here’s a look at the most common risk factors for breast cancer…
Age and Race
Aside from being female, the second biggest risk factor for breast cancer is advancing age. Plain and simple, your risk of breast cancer increases with age, says the Mayo Clinic. Most breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 50. According to BreastCancer.org, women between the age of 30 and 39 have a risk of about 1 in 228 or .44-percent. Their risk jumps to 1 in 29 or just under 3.5-percent by the time they are in their 60s.
Race can also play a role in a woman’s risk. “White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than are Black women,” says BreastCancer.org. Overall, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women have a lower risk of dying from breast cancer.