Understanding Risk factors for Breast Cancer

Posted by e-Medical PPT Sunday, October 17, 2010
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas.Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 10.4% of all cancer incidence among women, making it the most common type of non-skin cancer in women and the fifth most common cause of cancer death.
The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. In 5% of breast cancer cases, there is a strong inherited familial risk.Two autosomal dominant genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, account for most of the cases of familial breast cancer. Family members who harbor mutations in these genes have a 60% to 80% risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes.Persistently increased blood levels of estrogen are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Increased blood levels of progesterone are associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women.A number of circumstances which increase exposure to endogenous estrogens including not having children, delaying first childbirth, not breastfeeding, early menarche and late menopause are suspected of increasing lifetime risk for developing breast cancer.Prophylactic oophorectomy and mastectomy in individuals with high-risk mutations of BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes reduces the risk of developing breast cancer as well as reducing the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

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