National breast cancer awareness month

It is understood that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, however it is difficult to assess an individuals risk of developing breast cancer. Whilst research indicates the involvement of several risk factors, it is still unclear as to why one person should develop it and not another.

Risk factors can increase or decrease the likelihood of getting breast cancer. On top of the 3 main risk factors for developing breast cancer, There are other factors that can slightly increase or decrease the risk of having breast cancer. Some examples of factors that can increase your risk are:

  • having previously had breast cancer
  • your period starting before the age of 12
  • being overweight (especially after the menopause)
  • drinking more alcohol than the recommended daily amount.

Try not to worry about risk factors that you can’t do anything about. Instead, think about lifestyle changes you might make that could reduce your risk and may also help improve your general health. For example:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • doing regular exercise
  • not drinking more alcohol than the recommended daily amount.

It’s important to remain breast aware whatever your age as sticking to these lifestyle choices may not prevent you from
getting breast cancer. Your individual risk is unique and may change over time.