4 Common Misconceptions about Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Risk

August 3, 2016

The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. There are numerous misconceptions about who is likely to get breast cancer. Allow us dispel some of these breast cancer myths.

4 Myths About Your Risks for Developing Breast Cancer

1. Only Older Women Get Breast Cancer

Many women often think they can't get breast cancer unless they're old, but the fact is almost one quarter of women are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50.

2. Breast Cancer is Genetic

Women often think they can’t get breast cancer if it doesn’t run in their family. The truth is the vast majority of breast cancers are not the result of an inherited gene mutation (or genetic.) That’s why it’s important to start mammograms at age forty and have them regularly. It’s the changes in the breast over time that help the radiologist find breast cancers.

Too many women put off having their mammogram because they are afraid of what they may find. The truth is when diagnosed early breast cancer has more than a 95% survival rate.

3. Breast Cancer Risk Factors you CAN Control

  • Being overweight
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy
  • An inactive or sedentary lifestyle

4. Breast Cancer Risk Factors you CANNOT Control

  • Being a woman
  • Aging
  • Certain genetic mutations
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Family history
  • Personal history of another cancer

Genetic testing is frequently recommended for those with a family history of breast cancer. For more information on testing or to schedule a consultation with a Compass Oncology Genetic Counselor call 503.297.7403 or visit our genetic testing section on our website.

Find a Portland Breast Cancer Specialist