Click on a topic below for more information.

What is Breast Cancer? What are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
What are the Risks for Breast
What are the different kinds of breast biopsy?
What are the advantages of
Digital Mammography?

What are the Risks for Breast Cancer?

Although we do not know the exact ‘cause’ of breast cancer, and therefore cannot prevent it, we do know that there are factors associated with an increased chance of getting the disease. The major risk factors are:

  • Being female
  • A personal history of having already had a breast cancer
  • Age over fifty
  • Having a first degree relative (your mother, sister or daughter) with a history of breast cancer
  • Being a carrier of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation

There are other factors that are also associated with an increased risk, but their effect is much less important than the major risk factors. These are:

  • Early menarche (age at 1st menstrual period)
  • Post-menopausal hormone replacement
  • History of chest wall radiation treatment
  • Lifestyle factors
    • Obesity           
    • Lack of physical activity
    • Alcohol use
    • No children     
    • 1st child after age 30

While many of these factors cannot be changed, there are lifestyle changes that you can make to keep your risk as low as possible. These include maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising on a regular basis, avoiding post-menopausal hormone replacement, and drinking alcohol moderately, if at all.


   For further information about The Breast Center at Nyack Hospital, please call 845.348.8551.