Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Treatment

Here’s the not-so-great news: The greatest risk factor for developing breast cancer is … being a woman.

Now for the better news: Just because you have certain risk factors does not mean you will develop the disease. And, breast cancer is, with early detection, a very treatable disease. Knowing your risk factors and following your doctor’s recommendations for regular exams can be your best defense against breast cancer.

Know the risk factors of breast cancer

Many risk factors are out of your control, but others can be managed through lifestyle adjustments. Some of the key risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Age – Most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50.
  • Genetic mutations –Women who inherit changes (mutations) to specific genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Race/ethnicity – Caucasian women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer.
  • A family history of breast cancer – If your mother, sister or daughter (first-degree relative) has had breast cancer, you are at greater risk.
  • Being a couch potato – If you’re not physically active, get moving! Being sedentary increases your risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Having dense breasts – Dense breasts can make it difficult to see tumors on a mammogram. Women with dense breasts are more likely to get breast cancer.
  • Using oral contraceptives – Certain forms of birth control pills have been found to raise breast cancer risk.

Treatment options for breast cancer

Depending on the stage (how far the cancer has spread or otherwise advanced) of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, your treatment options may include one or more of the following

  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Clinical trials

Committed to providing superior, accessible cancer care

When it comes to fighting breast cancer, the most effective treatment is accessible treatment. Alpha Med Physicians Group offers advanced, compassionate breast cancer treatment in Illinois, with locations in Tinley Park, Homewood and Palos Heights. Our dedicated, board-certified physicians work with the latest technologies and treatments—all designed around your individual needs and preferences, with generous doses of the utmost professionalism, kindness and concern.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 708-342-1900 or click here to use our online form.