Breast cancer is one of the most common invasive cancers in women, and approximately 1 in 8 women will develop the disease at some point in life. While it is rare, men can also develop breast cancer.
A lot of research has been done on diagnosing, preventing, and treating breast cancer over the past few decades. While the exact causes of breast cancer aren’t fully understood, there are risk factors and lifestyle choices which can affect the likelihood of developing the disease.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer begins when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow out of control and form a tumor. Breast cancer can be invasive or non-invasive. Invasive breast cancer refers to cancer cells that spread into surrounding tissues or spread to a different area of the body.
Risk Factors that Contribute to Breast Cancer
There are a variety of risk factors that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. While these factors do not guarantee the development of the disease, they increase the risk – especially if more than a few factors apply.
- Age – The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Breast cancer is most common in women over 50 and in those who have been through menopause.
- Family history – If a close relative has had breast or ovarian cancer, there is a higher chance of developing breast cancer. It is possible that some genes (including BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53), which increase your risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer, can be inherited from a parent.
- Dense breast tissue – Breasts are made up of thousands of minute glands that produce milk and contain a higher concentration of breast cells. This can mean women with dense breast tissue can have a higher risk of developing breast cancer as there are more cells that can become cancerous.
- Exposure to estrogen – Extended exposure to the female hormone estrogen can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – HRT – more specifically estrogen-progesterone therapy (EPT) – can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
- Contraceptive pills – Certain contraceptive pills can slightly increase your chance of developing breast cancer because of the hormonal changes they can cause in the body.
- Body weight – Women who are overweight or obese after menopause may have an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
- Alcohol consumption – Women who consume excessive amounts of alcohol have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer than those who do not drink. The risk increases as the amount of alcohol consumption increases.
Comprehensive Breast Care at the Women’s Specialty Centre at Wooster Community Hospital in Wooster, Ohio
At Wooster Community Hospital (WCH), we offer state of the art services to help detect whether breast tissue has the presence of cancerous cells. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of a full recovery.
The Women’s Specialty Center at WCH is equipped with CT, MRI, and mammography technologies and is accredited by the American College of Radiology. We have also been named a Women’s Choice Award Hospital, so you can be confident that you’ll be receiving the very best care.
To learn more about our services or to make an appointment, please call (330) 263-8660 or request an appointment online.