Risk Factors that could affect your chance of being diagnosed with Breast Cancer

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With the news from a recent World Cancer Research Fund that half a glass of wine or a small beer every day could increase the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, what other factors could increase your chance of being diagnosed with the cancer that currently affects 55,200 people per year in the UK alone.

*16 Risk Factors confirmed as associated to breast cancer by Cancer Research UK are as follows:

  • Getting older
  • Alcohol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Height
  • Family history
  • Breast cancer genes
  • Previous cancer
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex hormones and other hormones
  • Contraceptive pills
  • DCIS or LCIS
  • Benign breast disease
  • Dense breast tissue
  • X-rays and radiotherapy
  • Other medical conditions such as diabetes
  • Not having children or having children later in life

Current statistics show that 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and currently the NHS offer breast screening to women between the ages of 50 and 70 every 3 years. This is done on an invitation basis. Once you have reached the age of 70 you are still entitled to breast screening but you would need to talk to your GP about making the arrangements.

Breast cancer is not exclusive to women even though it is by far the most common cancer in women currently in the UK. Men can also be diagnosed with it although the reported cases of breast cancer in men is dramatically less.

The good news is that there are some things that we can control when it comes to decreasing our risk. Exercise can be viewed as a prime example:

Studies have found that physical activity can help to prevent breast cancer with a proactive effect of 15-20% for women who exercise 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. In effect therefore, being active may lower your risk of breast cancer by about a fifth.

*All information sourced from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer

If you are not within the age range for NHS breast screening and would like to know your options via a private GP, consultant specialist or specific health assessment then the Medigest business directory can help you find a qualified professional.