Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

A guide for breast cancer patients, their families and for those who care

  Risk Factors
        For
 Breast Cancer


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    Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

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    Gender
         Breast cancer is relatively uncommon in males. The risk of development of breast cancer is increased in females compared to males at a ratio of 100:1. Men who are carriers of BRCA2 mutation have higher risk of development of breast cancer. A male carrying BRCA2 mutation has about 6 percent chance of developing breast cancer during his lifetime.

    Race
          Caucasian women have overall higher risk of development of breast cancer compared to African American women. This difference is not very apparent until the menopausal age. The breast cancer incidence in Caucasian women is about twice compared to American Asian, or Hispanic women. Breast cancer risk is very low in Native Americans. Even though the incidence of breast cancer is lower in African American women compared to the Caucasian population, the African America population has a higher breast cancer death rate (31.0 per 100,000) compared to Caucasian women or in fact, compared to any other racial or ethnic population in the United States. Difference biologic and genetic differences in tumors including mutations specific to African American women, the presence of risk factors, access to health system, health behaviors and relatively later stage at the time of diagnosis of disease may contributed to decreased survival of African American women with breast cancer.

    Geographic location
          Different countries in the world have varying incidence of breast cancer. There is much as five fold difference in the incidence of breast cancer between the countries that have highest incidence and lowest incidence of breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer is significantly lower in Japan, Thailand, Nigeria, and India compared to Denmark, New Zealand, U.K. and the United States. The difference in the incidence of breast cancer between these countries may be related to the difference in dietary habits, cultural differences and the number of pregnancies.

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