Do You Have a Higher Risk of Breast Cancer?

A risk factor is something that increases or decreases your chances of developing a disease such as cancer. But just because you have one risk factor, or several, does not mean you will be diagnosed with the disease.

Image: Mark Nosacka, CEO Good Samaritan Medical Center

Mark Nosacka
A woman may have breast cancer for no apparent reason, while another doesn’t even though her mother and other family members have been diagnosed with the disease.

As a premier sponsor of the 25th annual Susan G. Komen South Florida Race for the Cure on Jan. 30, Good Samaritan Medical Center would like to help you estimate your cancer risk by sharing a number of risk factors:

- Being a woman. Women are about 100 times more likely than men to develop breast cancer.

- Being older. Approximately two-thirds of invasive breast cancers are diagnosed in women age 55 or older.

- Inheriting certain gene defects. Between 5-10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary. The inherited gene mutation called BRCA1 and BRCA2 is the most common cause of hereditary breast cancer.

- Having a family history of the disease. A woman’s risk of breast cancer doubles if she has one first-degree relative with the disease and approximately triples with two first-degree relatives.

- Having a personal history of breast cancer. A woman who has had cancer in one breast has a higher chance of developing a new cancer in either the other breast or another part of the same breast.

breast cancer awareness- Being Caucasian. Caucasian women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women, but African American women are more likely to die of breast cancer.

- Having dense breast tissue. Women who have more glandular tissue than fatty tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer.

- Having certain benign breast conditions. Depending on the type of benign breast condition, a woman’s risk for breast cancer can increase one and a half to two times, up to four to five times higher than average.

- Having more menstrual cycles. Women who started menstruating before age 12 or stopped after age 55 have an elevated breast cancer risk.

- Giving birth. Women who have had children have a lower risk of breast cancer.  

- Being overweight. Overweight women have a higher chance of developing breast cancer.

Women who are concerned about their risks for developing breast cancer should talk with their doctor to learn more about the disease.

At Good Samaritan Medical Center’s Breast Institute, women in Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast have access to advanced tools to detect breast cancer early. The hospital offers 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) for breast cancer screening, which, when combined with conventional 2D mammography, has a 40 percent higher invasive cancer detection rate than 2D mammography alone.

Please visit Good Samaritan Medical Center Beast Institute to learn more about Good Samarian Medical Center’s breast services. You can also call 561-650-6023 to schedule a mammogram and receive a free manicure kit.