Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, infecting over 500,000 women each year. The cancer occurs when breast cells start to multiply sporadically, expanding unnaturally and building up into a mass that is often recognized as a hard lump when the disease first appears or in other manifestations of symptoms.
There are several risk factors associated with breast cancer, although the exact trigger that causes cell abnormalities leading to the disease is still unknown. According to Medicalnewstoday, there are three types of women who are more prone to develop breast cancer throughout their lifetime:
1. Obese and overweight women
Obese women are more likely than thin women to get breast cancer after menopause. The risk increases as women gain weight. Body mass index (BMI) calculates whether an individual is at a healthy weight based on their height and weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered ideal for most adults, while overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 30, and obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher.
2. Women with a family history of breast cancer
Women with close relatives, such as an aunt, grandmother, mother, or sister, who have battled breast cancer are more likely to develop the disease themselves. Gene variations, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, affect the body's ability to repair damaged cells. Women who carry these genes have a 45%–65% chance of developing breast cancer by the time they are 70 years old. These genes may be passed down from one parent to the child.
3. Women who smoke and drink alcohol
According to healthline Women who currently smoke or have smoked in their lifetime are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. There are substances in cigarettes and other tobacco products that can cause cancer. Additionally, alcohol consumption can increase the levels of several hormones, such as estrogen, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.
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