Are You Concerned You Are At Risk for Breast Cancer?

Being at risk for developing breast cancer is not only a matter of family history. While most women are not inherently at risk for breast cancer, there are many risk factors that may impact your risk. Our partners at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers can provide the expertise to help you assess your risk factors and discuss a personalized medical plan based on those risk factors. However, it is important to note that having one or more risk factors does not mean you will definitely get cancer.

Risk factors may be a function of age, ethnicity or family history, such as:

  • Older women are more at risk than younger women
  • Women are more at risk than men
  • Women with certain gene mutations  (including ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, CHEK2, NBN, NF1, PALB2, PTEN, STK11, TP53)
  • Women with a first degree relative with breast cancer
    • It is recommended to start mammogram 10 years before that relative was diagnosed with breast cancer
    • Note: Having two first degree relatives with breast cancer increases risk three-fold
  • Women previously diagnosed with breast cancer are at high risk for getting a new breast cancer in the opposite breast
  • White women are more at risk of developing breast cancer than African American, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native women
  • Women with dense breast tissue (as determined through a mammogram)
  • Women who had their first menstrual periods before age 12
  • Radiation therapy to the chest at a young age
  • Previous diagnosis of: Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia; Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia; Lobular Carcinoma in Situ
  • Menopause after age 55

Lifestyle- or health-related choices may also lead to increased risk:

  • Women who had their first child after age 30 or have never had a full-term pregnancy
  • Women using hormone replacement therapy long-term
  • Women who drink alcohol
  • Women who are overweight or obese
  • Women who don’t exercise regularly

If you have questions, please contact our partners at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers—Rose at 303-321-0302 to discuss your concerns and options.