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Factors that modify breast cancer risk in women

Author
Wendy Y Chen, MD, MPH
Section Editors
Anees B Chagpar, MD, MSc, MA, MPH, MBA, FACS, FRCS(C)
Daniel F Hayes, MD
Deputy Editor
Sadhna R Vora, MD

INTRODUCTION

Globally, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy and the leading cause of cancer death in women [1]. As an example, breast cancer is the most common cancer in females in the United States and the second most common cause of cancer death in women [2]. About one-half of newly diagnosed breast cancers can be explained by known risk factors, such as age at menarche, first live birth, menopause, and proliferative breast disease. An additional 10 percent are associated with a positive family history. In addition, risk may be modified by demographic, lifestyle, and environmental factors, although their association with breast cancer risk has not been clearly demonstrated.

This topic will review risk factors that modify breast cancer risk in women. Breast cancer chemopreventive medications (eg, tamoxifen, raloxifene, aromatase inhibitors) are reviewed separately. Screening for breast cancer and risk prediction models that can help tailor screening recommendations for breast cancer are discussed separately.

(See "Selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer prevention".)

(See "Risk prediction models for breast cancer screening".)

ESTABLISHED HIGH-RISK FACTORS

Increasing age — The risk of breast cancer increases with older age. Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, the probability of a woman developing breast cancer in the United States between 2006 and 2008 was [2]:

                                                           

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Aug 25 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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