What are the risk factors involved in breast cancer

Executive Summary

Understanding risk factors related to the disease and discussing the concerns with the expertise helps keep the patient more informed regarding their life and health decisions. The risk factors in breast cancer are identified by determining the cases of women being affected by breast tumour. Age, patients already diagnosed with breast tumour, hormone treatments, alcohol consumption, breastfeeding and estrogen exposure, radiation exposure, breasts implants, and obesity are the genetic disorders concerned with increased risk of breast cancer among women.

Risk Factors associated with Breast Cancer

Breast cancer risk factors maximize the chances of getting affected by the cancerous growth. However, having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you can fall prey to it. tumour specialists have identified risk factors are based on studying women affected by Breast tumour ​1,2​. We’ve narrowed down a few of the most commonly occurring risk factors of breast cancer ​3​:

  • Age Breast Cancer has a potential risk of developing by 0.06% at 20. Accordingly, the figure extends to 3.84% by the age of 70. Breast Cancer thus substantially depends on the age of the person.
  • Patients previously diagnosed with Breast Cancer. According to studies, women who were previously diagnosed with Breast Cancer have a higher chance of regaining it. Furthermore, the formation of non-cancerous breast lumps can enhance the possibility of getting Breast Cancer. Individuals who’ve had a history of ovarian, skin, fallopian tube, peritoneal, and Breast tumour have a considerably higher risk of obtaining Breast tumour.
  • Hormone Treatments A study done by NCI suggests that oral contraceptives substantially increase the chances of Breast Cancer. Another survey by ACS suggests that HRT (hormone replacement therapy), especially EPT (estrogen-progesterone therapy), increases the possibility of Breast Cancer.
  • Consumption of Alcohol Studies suggests that Alcohol plays a vital role in developing Breast Cancer. According to NCI (National cancer institute), women consuming Alcohol regularly have higher chances of getting Breast Cancer. Moderate alcoholics have a considerably lower chance of gaining breast cancer, with further research on the way.
  • Breastfeeding and Estrogen exposure A widened exposure to estrogen can advance the risk of Breast Cancer. Females whose periods start at an earlier stage or enter menopause late can become vulnerable to Breast Cancer. Breastfeeding for about a year or more can decrease the probability of Breast Cancer due to the reduction in estrogen exposure after breastfeeding and pregnancy.
  • Radiation Exposure Patients undergoing cancer treatments such as Radiotherapy for other cancer types have an inherent risk of obtaining cancer later.
  • Breast implants A study conducted in 2013 suggests that women with cosmetic surgeries and breast implants had an increased risk of obtaining this Cancer. Implants play a crucial role in changing the structure of the breast tissue. The implants mask cancer cells during screening, due to which one can become more vulnerable to underlying Breast Cancer. More extensive research is required to prove this factor.
  • Obesity Women who are overweight and are obese after menopause are more likely to fall prey to Breast Cancer due to the enhanced estrogen levels and higher sugar intake.


  1. 1.
    Ataollahi M, Sharifi J, Paknahad M, Paknahad A. Breast cancer and associated factors: a review. J Med Life. 2015;8(Spec Iss 4):6-11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28316699
  2. 2.
    Łukasiewicz S, Czeczelewski M, Forma A, Baj J, Sitarz R, Stanisławek A. Breast Cancer-Epidemiology, Risk Factors, Classification, Prognostic Markers, and Current Treatment Strategies-An Updated Review. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13(17). doi:10.3390/cancers13174287
  3. 3.
    Sun Y, Zhao Z, Yang Z, et al. Risk Factors and Preventions of Breast Cancer. Int J Biol Sci. 2017;13(11):1387-1397. doi:10.7150/ijbs.21635