While there are numerous preventive steps you can take to lower your risk for breast cancer, there are certain non-modifiable risk factors that could still affect your diagnosis. Non-modifiable risk factors are those that cannot necessarily be changed or prevented, and are linked to gender, age, family history, and more.
Even though you cannot avoid non-modifiable risk factors, it’s important that you take steps to fully understand these risk factors so you can work with your healthcare provider on developing a prevention plan based on your personal genetics and health history.
Females are most susceptible to developing breast cancer due to the link between breast cancer and the production of hormones estrogen and progesterone. Additionally, females who begin to menstruate before the age of 12, or who enter menopause much later in life than other females are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
Females over the age of 45 are at higher risk for breast cancer than younger women, though breast cancer can affect women of all ages. The risk for breast cancer continues to increase as you grow older, and is highest in women over the age of 60. Even though the risk for breast cancer is significantly higher in women over the age of 45, women are still encouraged to do breast self-exams on a routine basis to detect for signs of breast cancer.
At present, Caucasian women are more likely to develop breast cancer than any other ethnic group. However, African-American women who develop breast cancer are at much higher risk for dying from breast cancer compared to other ethnic groups, including Caucasian women.
Genetics and family history
Individuals with a family history of breast cancer are often at double the risk for developing the condition at some point in their lives. The risk for these individuals is even greater if the family member who suffered from breast cancer developed the condition at a relatively young age. Women who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are at 85 percent higher risk for developing breast cancer than their counterparts.
Reconstruction of breasts that have been removed due to cancer or other disease is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures available for women today. Request a consultation with Monarch Plastic Surgery, or call us today at (913) 663-3838 for our Leawood and Lansing offices, or at (816) 436-3262 for our North Kansas City location to learn more about your options for breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.