Breast Cancer Home > Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Being Overweight or Obese After Menopause
Lack of Physical Activity
Women who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased chance of breast cancer. Being active may help reduce the risk by preventing weight gain and obesity.
Studies suggest that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk of breast cancer.
Other possible breast cancer risk factors are under study. Researchers are studying the effect of diet, physical activity, and genetics on risk. They are also studying whether certain substances in the environment can increase a woman's chances of developing breast cancer.
Many risk factors can be avoided. Others, such as family history, cannot. Women can help protect themselves by staying away from known risk factors whenever possible.
But it's also important to keep in mind that most women who have known risk factors for breast cancer do not get the disease. Also, many women with the condition do not have a family history of it. In fact, except for growing older, most women with breast cancer have no clear risk factors.
If you think you may be at risk, you should discuss this concern with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways for you to reduce it, including breast cancer screening, and can plan a schedule for checkups.