Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention Measures

Primary prevention of breast cancer is dependent on many aspects, but the most effective is an early diagnosis. Also, knowing about breast cancer risk factors is the first step towards both diagnosing and preventing advanced breast cancer.

A risk factor is something that can increase a person's chances of getting a particular disease. Multiple breast cancer risk factors have been identified, and they can increase the risk of breast cancer. Certain breast cancer risk factors are beyond a person's control, such as genetics, age, and family history, but there are some that can be easily controlled. It is possible to regulate the risk of breast cancer by modifying controllable or lifestyle-related risk factors.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors that You Cannot Change

Here are some risk factors that are not in an individual's control and cannot be avoided easily. However, understanding these risk factors can be the best way to understand how to avoid breast cancer to some extent.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors that You Can Change

Here are some risk factors that are within an individual's control and can help in the potential prevention of breast cancer.

How To Avoid or Prevent Breast Cancer

Here are some effective steps to follow when seeking an answer for how to prevent breast cancer or how to avoid breast cancer. As risk factors and prevention for breast cancer go hand in hand, keeping a check on the risk factors also helps significantly in reducing one’s breast cancer risk.

Who is at High Risk of Breast Cancer?

Many studies have proven that a combination of different risk factors increases the risk of breast cancer. However, the main factor that poses a high risk for breast cancer is increasing age, especially for women who are over 50 and have undergone menopause. Also, females who have a family history of breast cancer are at higher risk.

Therefore, it is important for these women to follow appropriate preventive measures to bring down their breast cancer risk and opt for regular breast cancer screening.


Knowing about breast cancer risk factors helps tremendously in designing an effective line of treatment. However, having these risk factors does not mean that the person has or will get breast cancer, but it surely increases the chances. Thus, if the patient has any of the risk factors mentioned above, it is advisable to visit the oncologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fruits such as berries, tomatoes, grapes, and broccoli contain phytochemicals that can help in the prevention of breast cancer.

Nulliparity, or having no pregnancy, increases the breast cancer risk in the following ways:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding bring about certain changes in the breasts, and these changes are found to reduce breast cancer risk.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding have been found to delay the onset of menopause.
  • Women who have never been pregnant tend to have more menstrual cycles than women who have been pregnant.

Though menopause does not result in cancer, women who undergo menopause at an older age have a higher risk of breast cancer. Late menopause means women are exposed to estrogen for relatively longer periods, and this contributes to increased breast cancer risk.

There are a few ways to reduce your breast cancer risk, and they include:

  • Limiting Your Alcohol Intake: Increased alcohol consumption is a risk factor for breast cancer. Reducing your alcohol intake helps reduce your breast cancer risk.
  • Quitting Tobacco: Tobacco consumption increases your breast cancer risk remarkably. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to quit smoking to lower your breast cancer risk.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight and stay fit.
  • Being Physically Active: Being physically active is necessary for maintaining a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps reduce your breast cancer risk.
  • Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding helps reduce one’s breast cancer risk.
  • Opt for Regular Screening: Regular screening helps reduce the risk of advanced-stage breast cancer.

Yes, studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.