HealthLesser-known breast cancer risk factors revealed by leading specialist

Lesser-known breast cancer risk factors revealed by leading specialist

These factors increase the risk of cancer.
These factors increase the risk of cancer.
Images source: © Getty Images, X | Javier Zayas

6:11 AM EST, January 17, 2024

Breast cancer, a type of tumor that can develop in men and women - although more infrequently in men, is characterized by several symptoms. These include lumps, changes in the shape or size of the breast, changes in the skin of the breast or nipple, and nipple discharge.

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

According to the specialist, the following groups are more at risk:

People with "dense" breasts

Note that breasts consist of adipose, glandular, and connective tissues. When breasts have high density, they contain more glandular and connective tissue relative to adipose tissue.

The most accurate test for breast density is a mammogram. In these images, fatty tissue appears dark, while glandular tissue is light. Radiologists use these color differences to assess breast density.

Those with genetic predispositions - not just the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes

The most commonly known genes linked to breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, there are other genes, such as ATM, CHEK2, PALB2, and TP53, whose mutations can heighten the risk.

These gene mutations can be identified through blood-based genetic tests, which are highly valuable, especially for individuals with a family history of the disease.

"Family members face greater risk if they have close relatives who were younger when diagnosed with breast cancer. It then makes sense to conduct genetic tests," advises the doctor.

Those who lead an unhealthy lifestyle

Lifestyle habits can also affect the risk of developing breast cancer. Major risk factors include high alcohol intake, lack of physical activity, smoking, overweight, obesity, and diets heavy in saturated fats.

Shifting to healthier habits can help lower the risk of breast cancer.

Understanding these risk factors can better inform us about the likelihood of breast cancer occurrence and how to prevent it.

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