What are the types of risk factors for breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 16, 2019
  • Author: Jessica Katz, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Many risk factors for breast cancer have been identified, including genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Some are modifiable and others are not. To estimate an individual patient's risk for breast cancer, the physician needs to elicit a detailed family history and personal past medical and breast health history. 

Once the level of risk has been established, physician and patient can discuss the best screening and management, which may involve measures such as addressing modifiable risk factors or genetic counseling. Screening is important, because early detection may lead to better outcomes.

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