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Top Breast Cancer Risks for Older Women

Top Breast Cancer Risks for Older Women

Understanding Your Risk of Breast Cancer as a Senior

Like many health conditions, the risk of developing breast cancer significantly increases as you get older. With most new breast cancer cases affecting women over the age of 50, it is essential that you understand what other factors can increase your risk for developing this chronic health condition.

Family History

Women who have an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with breast cancer have a significantly higher risk of developing it themselves. In fact, women whose mother, sister, or daughter have been diagnosed with the condition are about 5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than a person of average risk.

Personal History

Women who have previously had breast cancer are also more likely to develop new cancer in your other breast or a different area in the previously affected breast. The risk of recurrence is about 3 to 4 times that of a person of average risk.

Being Overweight

Women who are overweight or obese are also more likely to develop breast cancer after menopause. This is because, with higher levels of fat, your body produces more estrogen, and estrogen can cause breast cancer to develop and continue to grow.

Alcohol and Tobacco Usage

Like most cancer forms, smoking and using tobacco products significantly increases your risk of developing breast cancer. It can also cause your body to experience side-effects during breast cancer treatment.


Studies have also shown that women who drink have about a 15% higher chance of developing breast cancer than those who don't. This is because drinking alcoholic beverages increases the production of estrogen and other hormones that can trigger the development of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.