Because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the doctors and medical professionals at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are doing our part to get the facts out about breast cancer and its prevention. Knowing the factors that increase breast cancer risk is important for every woman, as this information will play a big role in making lifestyle changes to reduce these factors. Here is an overview of the most common risk factors that may impact your chances of getting breast cancer in your lifetime:
- Late in life pregnancy or no pregnancy: Having children before the age of 30 actually improves breast health, especially if the baby was breastfed. The cause for this trend is related to the hormonal fluctuations that take place during pregnancy, which differ depending on the age of the mother.
- Tobacco or alcohol use: Women who smoke have a much higher risk for all types of cancer than women who do not, so quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health if you are a smoker. Heavy alcohol use also contributes to cancer risk, but drinking in moderation does not typically pose a threat. Moderate drinking is considered to be less than three alcoholic drinks daily.
- Obesity and poor exercise habits: Being clinically overweight or obese contributes to breast cancer risk because estrogen is stored in fat cells. Having an excess of fat cells means that estrogen levels will be poorly regulated in the body, so there is a higher risk for hormone-sensitive cancer, which is the most common type of breast cancer.
You can take charge of your health and reduce the effects of these factors by seeking help from Regional Medical Center of San Jose for health education and breast cancer screening. Contact us to explore more of our services by visiting our website or calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 762-8881.