Your Baseline Risk is

Life Affects Your Life: Understanding Your Other Risk Factors



Your baseline risk above is your starting point. The lifestyle and personal health history factors below can potentially increase or decrease that baseline risk. Talk to your doctor about how these risk factors may be affecting your total risk—make it a goal to get or keep as much as you can working in your favor.


Working In Your Favor

(in the healthy range)

Your BMI is within 18.5 and 24.9

This is within a healthy range! Keep up the good work

You have one or fewer drinks a day

Something to celebrate: Your cocktail consumption likely doesn’t increase your baseline risk for breast cancer.

You have one or fewer drinks a day

Something to celebrate: Your cocktail consumption likely doesn’t increase your baseline risk for breast cancer.

You get enough exercise

Your active lifestyle benefits your health in many ways. Stick to it!

You have given birth, or plan to in the future

One of the many joys of motherhood can be risk reduction. Pregnancy lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancers by reducing your lifetime exposure to estrogen and stabilizing your breast tissue.

You have breastfed, or plan to in the future

Breastfeeding is good for both you and your baby; doing it for a total of at least 1-2 years (not necessarily consecutively) helps lower your risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

You’ve already taken birth control for at least five years or plan to

You likely made this choice for other reasons, but just by taking oral contraceptives for a total of at least five years, you’ve decreased your risk of ovarian cancer by up to 50%. That’s no small feat.
(in the healthy range)

Your BMI is %s

Your BMI is within the healthy range of 18.5 - 24.9! Keep up the good work.

(below the healthy range)

Your BMI is %s

Your BMI is lower than the healthy range of 18.5 - 24.9. While a low BMI has not been connected to increased cancer risk, being underweight can cause other health issues. Talk to your doctor about the benefits of being at an optimal weight.

You have breastfed, or plan to in the future

Breastfeeding is good for both you and your baby; doing it for a total of at least 1-2 years (not necessarily consecutively) helps lower your risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

You were 12 or older when you got your first period

Starting your period after the age of 12 decreases your risk for breast cancer because it decreases your total lifetime exposure to estrogen. Having fewer menstrual cycles in your lifetime also reduces your risk for ovarian cancer.

You don't smoke

Not smoking does wonders for your overall health. There’s a direct link between tobacco use and many diseases, including ovarian cancer.

You've had a tubal ligation

Studies suggest that women who've had a tubal ligation (or gotten their "tubes tied"), particularly before the age of 33, are at decreased risk for developing ovarian cancer.

You have given birth, or plan to in the future

One of the many joys of motherhood can be risk reduction. Pregnancy lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancers by reducing your lifetime exposure to estrogen and stabilizing your breast tissue.

You have breastfed, or plan to in the future

Breastfeeding is good for both you and your baby; doing it for a total of at least 1-2 years (not necessarily consecutively) helps lower your risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

Not Working in Your Favor

(below the healthy range)

Your BMI is outside of the healthy range.

Be good to yourself! Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about steps you can take to achieve a healthier BMI.

(above the healthy range)

Your BMI is outside of the healthy range.

Be good to yourself! Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about steps you can take to achieve a healthier BMI.

(above the healthy range)

Your BMI is outside of the healthy range.

Be good to yourself! Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about steps you can take to achieve a healthier BMI.

You have more than one drink a day

Consider cutting back on cocktails, as alcohol increases your baseline risk of breast cancer. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink per day and you'll be doing yourself a favor.

You have more than one drink a day

Consider cutting back on cocktails, as alcohol increases your baseline risk of breast cancer. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink per day and you'll be doing yourself a favor.

You have more than one drink a day

Consider cutting back on cocktails, as alcohol increases your baseline risk of breast cancer. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink per day and you'll be doing yourself a favor.

You have more than one drink a day

Consider cutting back on cocktails, as alcohol increases your baseline risk of breast cancer. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink per day and you'll be doing yourself a favor.

You have more than one drink a day

Consider cutting back on cocktails, as alcohol increases your baseline risk of breast cancer. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink per day and you'll be doing yourself a favor.

You’re not getting enough exercise

Not moving your body enough increases your risk. You don’t have to become a gym rat—walking counts! Make 30+ minutes most days your goal.

You were younger than 12 when you got your first period

Starting your period before age 12 increases your risk for breast cancer by increasing your total lifetime exposure to estrogen. Having more menstrual cycles also increases your risk for ovarian cancer. You obviously can’t change this, but it’s a good reason to stay proactive about modifiable risk factors.

You won't be giving birth.

If you’ve chosen not to have children, or if childbearing simply isn’t in the cards for you, be aware that never giving birth slightly increases your risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

You haven’t taken birth control for at least five years and don't plan to

Consider talking to your doctor about whether birth control pills might be a good option for you. If you take oral contraceptives for a total of at least five years in your 20s and 30s, you can reduce your ovarian cancer risk by up to 50%. That’s no small feat.
(above the healthy range)

Your BMI is %s

Your BMI is outside of the healthy range of 18.5 - 24.9. There’s a clear correlation between being overweight and breast cancer. Extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which can increase your risk.

(above the healthy range)

Your BMI is %s

Your BMI is outside of the healthy range of 18.5 - 24.9. There’s a clear correlation between being overweight and breast cancer. Extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which can increase your risk.

You have not breastfed, aren't able to, or do not plan to in the future

You may have chosen not to breastfeed or you simply aren't able to. Just know that this is a risk reduction option for both breast and ovarian cancer that you won't be able to take advantage of.

You smoke

Commit to quit. The risks are clear: There’s a direct correlation between tobacco use and many diseases, including ovarian cancer.

You won't be giving birth.

If you’ve chosen not to have children, or if childbearing simply isn’t in the cards for you, be aware that never giving birth slightly increases your risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

You have not breastfed, aren't able to, or do not plan to in the future

You may have chosen not to breastfeed or you simply aren't able to. Just know that this is a risk reduction option for both breast and ovarian cancer that you won't be able to take advantage of. 

Then this with someone you care about that does. You just might save her life.

Why it matters

You—and the 52 million other young women in the United States—are at risk simply because you have breasts and/or ovaries.

If you’ve already had a risk-reducing mastectomy (with or without reconstruction), your breast cancer risk will decrease by 90%. But keep in mind, there is still some risk, as it is impossible to remove every single breast cell.

If you’ve had a risk-reducing oophorectomy, then you have 96% decrease in ovarian cancer risk – and a 45-50% decrease in breast cancer risk. As with a prophylactic mastectomy, there is still residual risk for ovarian cancer, as cells may remain.

Age is important when it comes to breast and ovarian cancer risk. Most breast and ovarian cancers develop when women are in their 50s and 60s, but breast cancer in women with a genetic predisposition often develops much earlier, starting in their 30s and 40s.
Younger women tend to have denser breast tissue – breasts with more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue – which can make it harder to see tumors on mammograms. Dense breast tissue is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Certain genetic mutations and family health history factors can lead to an increased risk for both breast and ovarian cancers. However, over 75% of women who develop these cancers have neither a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, nor a genetic predisposition. Remember: Having risk factors doesn’t guarantee a diagnosis. It simply means you may have a greater chance of developing the disease.

Research shows a 10% increase in breast cancer risk for every 10g of alcohol—equivalent to one standard drink—consumed each day on average. The more you drink, the higher your risk, so limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day.

Breast and ovarian cancers can run in some families. Sometimes this is because mutated genes have been passed down to you from your mother or father. These genes dramatically increase the risk of developing cancer. Other times, there may be a strong family history, but no known genetic mutation.

10-20% of breast and ovarian cancers are due to inherited genetic mutations.

Getting a genetic test is as simple as taking a blood test or providing a saliva sample. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance coverage of genetic testing for women who qualify.
Regular exercise—breaking a sweat for 30+ minutes on most days—may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. You don’t need to become a gym rat: Walking counts!
Nothing has a greater effect on a woman’s level of risk than her family history. Background information from BOTH sides of your family is important.
Starting your period under age 12 is linked to an increased risk for breast cancer because it raises total lifetime exposure to estrogen.
Risk for developing breast cancer is significantly increased if a woman received radiation treatments to the chest for another cancer (like Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) at a young age, particularly while her breasts were developing. Some reports find it to be as much as 12 times the normal risk.
Having multiple first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer increases your lifetime risk. Being diagnosed at late age means it is less likely to be caused by an inherited gene mutation.
Your Race and Ancestry Can Be a Factor - 1 in 40 individuals with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, which puts them at higher risk.
Certain factors in your personal health history can affect your risk for cancer. Abnormal cells in a breast biopsy indicate you may be more likely to develop breast cancer later in life, while endometriosis and PCOS have been linked to ovarian cancer. And studies have shown that tubal ligation may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer, possibly up to 34%.
It’s no surprise: Smoking is bad for your health. But did you also know that recent studies have linked smoking to an increased risk of ovarian cancer – up to double the average? If you currently smoke, there’s good news. Smoking is a modifiable risk factor, which means that you can reduce this increased risk by quitting now.
Research shows a clear reduction in ovarian cancer risk with the use of birth control pills. You might have heard that oral contraceptives can increase breast cancer risk, but many studies show that increased risk is very small, if at all. Plus, it’s not associated with the most common type of oral contraceptive, low-dose estrogen pills. Bottom line: There are few lifestyle behaviors that reduce your ovarian cancer risk—except for taking birth control pills.

Pregnancy reduces breast and ovarian cancer risk by stabilizing breast tissue, lowering total lifetime exposure to estrogen, and preventing ovulation. Never giving birth, whether by choice or due to infertility, is associated with an increased risk. If you’re planning to have kids but haven’t yet, be aware that the timing of your first pregnancy can reduce your risk​.​ Studies show giving birth before the age of 30 can reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to 50%.

Breastfeeding for a total of 1-2 years lowers total lifetime exposure to estrogen, reducing a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It also reduces the chance of ovulation, and therefore also decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding for a total of 1-2 years lowers total lifetime exposure to estrogen, reducing a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It also reduces the chance of ovulation, and therefore also it decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.

There is a clear link between obesity and breast cancer — extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which in turn increases breast cancer risk.

There is a clear link between obesity and breast cancer - extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which in turn increases breast cancer risk. Maintaining a healthy body weight means keeping your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.

1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. 1 in 67 will develop ovarian cancer.

Bright Pink created this tool to help you assess your personal risk level for breast and ovarian cancers. The more you know, the better prepared you are to take actions that can help reduce your risk.

Your body​. Your life.
Don’t leave it up to chance.

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Since you've already taken the brave step to have risk-reducing surgery, these results won’t be accurate for you. This quiz is targeted to women who might not know their risk for breast and ovarian cancers yet. You’re welcome to continue with the quiz, but know that the results only account for those women who have not had a prophylactic mastectomy or oophorectomy.
Since you've already taken the brave step to have risk-reducing surgery, these results won’t be accurate for you. This quiz is targeted to women who might not know their risk for breast and ovarian cancers yet. You’re welcome to continue with the quiz, but know that the results only account for those women who have not had a prophylactic mastectomy or oophorectomy.
Since you’ve already taken the brave step to have risk-reducing surgery, the results of this quiz won’t be accurate for you. But you can still help another woman be proactive about her health. Share this quiz with someone you care about.
Spread love – and maybe even save a life. Share this quiz with a woman you love today.

Do you have Breasts/Ovaries?

Why do you not have breasts and ovaries?

I've had my breasts removed
I've had my ovaries removed
I've had both my breasts and ovaries removed
I've never had ovaries

How old are you?

< 20

20-30

31-35

36-40

41-50

51-60

61+


Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have "dense breast tissue" as a result of a mammogram?

Have you ever been diagnosed with either of the following?

Breast cancer

Ovarian cancer (epithelial; non-germ cell) or fallopian tube cancer

Both

Neither


How many alcoholic drinks do you consume each day, on average? Don't forget to factor in the weekends!




Have any of your immediate family members (parents, siblings, or children) been diagnosed with any of the following?

Breast cancer diagnosed at age 50 or under

Triple negative (ER-, PR-, HER2-) breast cancer

More than one breast cancer (cancer in both breasts, or two separate breast cancers in one breast)

Male breast cancer

Ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer, or fallopian tube cancer

Two or more close relatives with breast cancer at any age

None of the above


Have you or any of your close relatives (parents, siblings, grandparent, aunts or uncles) had genetic testing for a mutation linked to breast and/or ovarian cancer?

Yes, I've tested positive for a gene mutation

Yes, I've tested negative and I'm the only one who's had genetic testing

Yes, I’ve tested negative, but a relative has tested positive

Yes, I've tested negative and my relative(s) with cancer tested negative
Yes, I've tested negative, and my relative(s) also tested negative, but did not have cancer

Yes, a relative tested positive, but I've not yet had genetic testing

Yes, a relative tested negative, and I've not yet had genetic testing

No, none of us have had genetic testing that I'm aware of


Which gene mutation have you or your relative(s) been diagnosed with?

BRCA1 or BRCA2

Lynch Syndrome

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Cowden Syndrome

Hereditary Diffuse Gastric and Lobular Breast Cancer Syndrome

Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PJS)
PALB2
CHEK2
ATM
NBN
BARD1
BRIP1
RAD51C
RAD51D
VUS (variant of uncertain significance)

I don't know


On average, do you exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week?

Within one side of your family (either on your mom's or dad's side), is there a combination of any of these cancers? (select all that apply)

Breast cancer

Ovarian cancer
Adrenocortical carcinoma
Brain cancer

Colorectal

Endometrial cancer

Kidney/Urinary tract cancer

Leukemia/Lymphoma

Liver/Bile duct cancer

Lung cancer

Melanoma
Pancreatic cancer
Prostate cancer
Sarcoma cancer

Sebaceous neoplasms

Skin (non-melanoma)

Small intestine cancer

Stomach cancer
Thyroid cancer
Uterine cancer
I'm not sure
None of the above

How old were you when you first got your period?

Did you receive radiation to the chest during childhood to treat Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or another cancer?

Do you have TWO OR MORE close family members (parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle) that have had breast cancer at age 50 or older?

Are you of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry?

Have you ever had any of the following in your personal health history?

Abnormal breast biopsy result

Endometriosis

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Tubal Ligation

None


Do you smoke?

Have you taken or do you plan to take birth control pills for five or more years - it doesn't have to be consecutive! - during your 20s or 30s?

Have you ever given birth or plan to give birth in the future?

Yes, I have given birth

I have not yet given birth, but would like to

I am choosing not to give birth

I am unable to give birth due to infertility


Have you breastfed?

Do you plan to breastfeed in the future?

Yes
No
I'm not sure

What is your weight?
Your answer will only be used to calculate your BMI, which can affect your risk.

What is your height?

What is your height & weight?

Lifestyle
Your Normal
Family History
Understand How

Lifestyle

Affects Your Risk
Understand How

Knowing Your Normal

Affects Your Risk
Understand How

Family & Health History

Affects Your Risk

Turns out, life affects your life

Day-to-day decisions directly link to your risk of getting cancer. The stakes are high—make sure you’re doing all you can to make the most of it. Now that’s living proactively.

Get Moving

Women who get regular exercise may have a lower risk of breast cancer. Breaking a sweat for 30 minutes on most days can help reduce your risk by as much as 10-20 percent.

Fight Fat

Maintain a healthy body weight, as there’s a clear correlation between obesity and breast cancer. Extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which can increase your risk.

Cut Back on Cocktails

There’s a known link between alcohol and breast cancer. Every drink you throw back affects your health. Limit your drinking to no more than one drink per day, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Go Smoke Free

Commit to quit. If you smoke, there are no excuses: there’s a direct through line from tobacco use to many diseases, including breast cancer.

Spend Some Time in the Sun

Vitamin D plays a role in regulating breast cell growth. Studies have shown a 2.5x increase in the risk of breast cancer associated with Vitamin D deficiency, and a possible increase in ovarian cancer risk.

Eat Well

What you eat affects your health. Follow a diet that’s low in fat and includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins. Research shows a 12% increase in cancer risk for every 50g of red meat consumed each day.

Women Have Pledged to Improve Their Lifestyles.

You can join them. By clicking the pledge button below, you’ll make that number go higher.

Know What’s Normal For You

Every body is different. In order to know what’s up with yours, you have to be self-aware. It’s important to know what’s normal for you — that way, you’re equipped to recognize a change over time.

You Need to Know the Lay of the Land

80% of breast cancers in young women are found by young women themselves. Get to know what your breasts feel like. They cover more real estate than you may realize: breast tissue extends up to the collarbone, around to your armpits, and into your breastbone.

What To Look Out For

Pay attention to changes in size, shape, contour, and color. If a change persists or worsens for 2-3 weeks, it’s time to see a doctor.

A few examples of abnormal symptoms:

  • A lump that’s hard and immobile
  • Swelling, soreness or rash
  • Warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in size or shape of either breast
  • Dimpling or prickling of the skin
  • An itchy, scaly sore, or rash around the nipple
  • A nipple that becomes flat or inverted
  • Nipple discharge
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away
  • Persistent itching
  • Bumps that resemble bug bites

Let's Talk Lumps

The most common breast cancer symptom is a lump. But some women have naturally lumpy breasts. Soft, mobile lumps that come and go are normal, but a lump that feels like a frozen pea is not. One that gets bigger and doesn’t go away for 2-3 weeks is not. If you find something, don’t panic — 80% of lumps aren’t cancerous — but make sure to go to your doctor.

The 4-1-1 on Ovarian Cancer

Because there’s currently no effective test for ovarian cancer, watching for signs and symptoms is important. However, many of these can easily be mistaken for other issues, like PMS.

What to Watch For

Signs of ovarian cancer are symptoms like these, when they persist or worsen for 2-3 weeks:

Primary

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Feeling the need to urinate frequently
  • Prolonged bloating
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

Secondary

  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach, heartburn
  • Pain during intercourse

Like breast cancer symptoms, many ovarian cancer symptoms can come and go. But if they persist or worsen for 2-3 weeks, see your doctor and ask — could it be my ovaries?

You & Your Doctor

A key part of living proactively is finding a doctor you trust. He or she should listen to your questions, pay attention to your concerns, and provide clear recommendations. Once you’ve “shopped around” and found one you like, plan on seeing them annually for a well-woman exam.

The Well-Woman Exam

These annual exams, which are covered in all insurance policies, should include a clinical breast exam that thoroughly covers all breast tissue and typically lasts several minutes.

 

Your well-woman exam should also include:

  • Clinical breast and pelvic exam starting at age 20
  • A PAP smear — though it’s important to know these don’t check for ovarian cancer
  • Mammogram beginning at age 40— but if you if you have a family history, ten years before the age your youngest relative was diagnosed

Don't Forget to Take Care on Your Own

Sign up for a monthly Breast Health Reminder™ to be Breast Self Aware — that’s one text a month. Text PINK to 59227.

You will receive one message per month. Text STOP to quit or HELP for info. Message and data rates may apply. No purchase necessary. Automated messages will be delivered to the phone number you provide at opt-in. View Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions here.

Women Have Pledged to Know Their Normal.

You can join them. By clicking the pledge button below, you’ll make that number go higher.

The Most Important Part of Understanding Risk

More than anything else, family and health history have a powerful impact on your risk level; understanding the past can help you be proactive about your future.

Family History & Genetic Predisposition

For a woman with family history or a genetic predisposition, lifetime breast cancer risk can be up to 87%. Lifetime ovarian cancer risk can be as high as 54%. Family history and genetic predisposition aren’t one in the same. For example, if a first-degree relative had breast cancer, your risk is increased even if you don’t have a genetic predisposition.

Your Race and Ancestry Can Be a Factor

For example, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among African American women. And 1 in 40 individuals with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry carry a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, which puts them at higher risk.

Having a Child Decreases Lifetime Risk

Pregnancy transforms and stabilizes the cells that comprise milk-producing glands and ducts, making them less susceptible to abnormal cell growth. The earlier this transformation happens, the lower the risk of breast cancer. Some studies have shown that women with first pregnancies under the age of 30 have a 40-50% lower lifetime risk than women who gave birth later or who are never pregnant.

Breastfeeding Lowers Risk for You and the Baby

Breastfeeding for 1-2 years lowers your risk by decreasing the number of periods you’ll get over the course of your life. Even better: the activity can help reduce the breast-fed baby’s own later-life risk. Now that’s win-win.

Birth Control is the #1 Factor for Decreased Ovarian Risk

Taking birth control pills for 5 years — even non-consecutively — in your 20s and 30s can reduce your ovarian cancer risk by nearly half. Oral contraceptives are the single most important lifestyle choice you can make when it comes to the health of your ovaries.

Assess Your Risk

Let’s Go

Why It Matters...

You—and the 52 million other young women in the United States—are at risk simply because you have breasts and/or ovaries.

If you’ve already had a risk-reducing mastectomy (with or without reconstruction), your breast cancer risk will decrease by 90%. But keep in mind, there is still some risk, as it is impossible to remove every single breast cell.

If you’ve had a risk-reducing oophorectomy, then you have 96% decrease in ovarian cancer risk – and a 45-50% decrease in breast cancer risk. As with a prophylactic mastectomy, there is still residual risk for ovarian cancer, as cells may remain.

Age is important when it comes to breast and ovarian cancer risk. Most breast and ovarian cancers develop when women are in their 50s and 60s, but breast cancer in women with a genetic predisposition often develops much earlier, starting in their 30s and 40s.
Younger women tend to have denser breast tissue – breasts with more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue – which can make it harder to see tumors on mammograms. Dense breast tissue is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

Certain genetic mutations and family health history factors can lead to an increased risk for both breast and ovarian cancers. However, over 75% of women who develop these cancers have neither a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, nor a genetic predisposition. Remember: Having risk factors doesn’t guarantee a diagnosis. It simply means you may have a greater chance of developing the disease.

Research shows a 10% increase in breast cancer risk for every 10g of alcohol—equivalent to one standard drink—consumed each day on average. The more you drink, the higher your risk, so limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day.

Breast and ovarian cancers can run in some families. Sometimes this is because mutated genes have been passed down to you from your mother or father. These genes dramatically increase the risk of developing cancer. Other times, there may be a strong family history, but no known genetic mutation.

10-20% of breast and ovarian cancers are due to inherited genetic mutations.

Getting a genetic test is as simple as taking a blood test or providing a saliva sample. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance coverage of genetic testing for women who qualify.
Regular exercise—breaking a sweat for 30+ minutes on most days—may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. You don’t need to become a gym rat: Walking counts!
Nothing has a greater effect on a woman’s level of risk than her family history. Background information from BOTH sides of your family is important.
Starting your period under age 12 is linked to an increased risk for breast cancer because it raises total lifetime exposure to estrogen.
Risk for developing breast cancer is significantly increased if a woman received radiation treatments to the chest for another cancer (like Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) at a young age, particularly while her breasts were developing. Some reports find it to be as much as 12 times the normal risk.
Having multiple first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer increases your lifetime risk. Being diagnosed at late age means it is less likely to be caused by an inherited gene mutation.
Your Race and Ancestry Can Be a Factor - 1 in 40 individuals with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, which puts them at higher risk.
Certain factors in your personal health history can affect your risk for cancer. Abnormal cells in a breast biopsy indicate you may be more likely to develop breast cancer later in life, while endometriosis and PCOS have been linked to ovarian cancer. And studies have shown that tubal ligation may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer, possibly up to 34%.
It’s no surprise: Smoking is bad for your health. But did you also know that recent studies have linked smoking to an increased risk of ovarian cancer – up to double the average? If you currently smoke, there’s good news. Smoking is a modifiable risk factor, which means that you can reduce this increased risk by quitting now.
Research shows a clear reduction in ovarian cancer risk with the use of birth control pills. You might have heard that oral contraceptives can increase breast cancer risk, but many studies show that increased risk is very small, if at all. Plus, it’s not associated with the most common type of oral contraceptive, low-dose estrogen pills. Bottom line: There are few lifestyle behaviors that reduce your ovarian cancer risk—except for taking birth control pills.

Pregnancy reduces breast and ovarian cancer risk by stabilizing breast tissue, lowering total lifetime exposure to estrogen, and preventing ovulation. Never giving birth, whether by choice or due to infertility, is associated with an increased risk. If you’re planning to have kids but haven’t yet, be aware that the timing of your first pregnancy can reduce your risk​.​ Studies show giving birth before the age of 30 can reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to 50%.

Breastfeeding for a total of 1-2 years lowers total lifetime exposure to estrogen, reducing a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It also reduces the chance of ovulation, and therefore also decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding for a total of 1-2 years lowers total lifetime exposure to estrogen, reducing a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It also reduces the chance of ovulation, and therefore also it decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.

There is a clear link between obesity and breast cancer — extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which in turn increases breast cancer risk.

There is a clear link between obesity and breast cancer - extra fatty tissue produces extra estrogen, which in turn increases breast cancer risk. Maintaining a healthy body weight means keeping your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.

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