Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. Around one eighth of women, develop this disease over the course of lifetime. Though it is rare in men, it may develop in male breast. Certain factors may induce risk of developing breast cancer in women. Risk factors for breast cancer are listed below.


Older woman are more prone to this disease. Most of the cases of breast cancer are seen in woman older than 50 years of age.


This disease primarily affects women. It is very rare in men.

Family History of Breast Cancer

Patients having close relatives suffering from this disease are more likely to develop this disease. If a near relative has breast, uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer, it increases chances of breast cancer in a patient.

Prior History of Breast Disease

If the patient has earlier suffered from any type of breast cancer or any other type of breast diseases, chances are that she will develop breast cancer. Women with prior history of this disease are advised to get monitored and have regular mammograms.


Women with gene defect in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are more likely to develop breast cancer. These genes are responsible for cancer protecting proteins. If a passes this defective gene to the child, then chances are high that child may develop breast cancer.

Menstrual Cycle

Women, who are exposed to estrogen at early age or have periods before age of 12, are more likely to develop this disease. Late menopause or menopause after 45 also increases risk of this disease.

Reproductive History

Women who never bore children or had their first child after age 30 have higher risk of developing breast cancer.

DES or Diethylstilbestro

Women have been exposed to diethylstilbestrol or DES, are at higher risk of developing this disease.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Women, who have been exposed to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms such as decreased bone density, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, and mood swings, are more likely to develop breast cancer. HRT exposes patients to high levels of estrogen or a combination of both estrogen and progesterone, which elevates risk of this disease.


Women, who are heavier or obese, may also have increased risk of this disease as they may be producing more estrogen.


Women belonging to certain ethnic origin are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. African American women are at higher risk of this disease than white American women, if they are in their fifties but lifetime risk is less in them compared to white American women.

Radiation Exposure

Patients, who have been exposed to radiation for treatment of any disease including any type of cancer, are especially around chest or breast, are more likely to develop breast cancer. Exposure to radiation at a young age further elevates the risk.

Alcohol Consumption

Women, who consume alcohol regularly also, have increased risk of this disease.

Eating Overcooked Meats

Overcooked meat contains Heterocyclic amines. Regular eating of overcooked meat increases exposure to this chemical, which could increase the risk of breast cancer.

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Author's Bio: 

Jack Taylor
Powers Taylor LLP is a boutique litigation firm that represents people injured by unsafe drugs. The attorneys of Powers Taylor founded this firm to focus on client needs. We employ unique and creative litigation strategies to obtain decisive results for our clients.