Breast Cancer

By: Destiny Williams

What Causes Breast Cancer?

Gender: Breast cancer is much more common in women than in men.
Age: risk goes up with age.
Genetic risk factors: Inherited changes in certain genes can increase the risk.
Family history: Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose relatives have this disease.
Personal history of breast cancer: A woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of getting another breast cancer.
Dense breast tissue: Dense breast tissue means there is more gland tissue and less fatty tissue. Women with denser breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Menstrual periods: Women who began having periods early (before age 12) or who went through menopause after the age of 55 have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

Breast radiation early in life: Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest area (as treatment for another cancer) as a child or young adult have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer.

Not having children or having them later in life: Women who have not had children, or who had their first child after age 30, have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. Being pregnant many times or pregnant when younger reduces breast cancer risk.

Not breastfeeding: Some studies have shown that breastfeeding slightly lowers breast cancer risk, especially if breastfeeding lasts 1½ to 2 years.

Alcohol: The use of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of getting breast cancer. Even as little as one drink a day can increase risk.
Being overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.


The main types of treatment for breast cancer are:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Bone-directed therapy
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5 Year Survival Rate By Stage

I - 100%

II - 93%

III - 72%

IV - 22%