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Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer to occur in women.

As you care for your elderly parent, it’s important that you ensure she continues to receive her yearly mammograms and checkups to screen for breast cancer. While not everyone who has experienced some of the risk factors will develop breast cancer, if your parent has had any of these risk factors, you might want to check with her family doctor about what her preventative care should look like.


Home Care Services in Birmingham AL: Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Home Care Services in Birmingham AL: Breast Cancer Risk Factors


Many of them your parent will not be able to change or address, but for the risk factors that can be addressed, team up with your elderly care provider to help your parent live a healthier lifestyle that will reduce her risk of breast cancer.

    • Being a woman. Unfortunately, by simply being female, your elderly parent has a much higher risk of developing breast cancer.


    • Her age. With each year of life, the risk for breast cancer increases. There’s not an age where your elderly parent will no longer need to worry about it.


    • Obesity. In addition to all the other health concerns, obesity puts your parent at risk for, breast cancer is another one of them. If your parent is obese, talk with your parent’s doctor about how your parent, along with a team of support such as yourself, other family members, and an elderly care provider, can help her lose excess weight.


    • If she’s had breast conditions or breast cancer. Some breast conditions (such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast) or a history of breast cancer in one breast, will increase your parent’s risk of developing cancer.


    • A family history of breast cancer. If other family members of your parent (especially those that are close to her such as her mother, sister, or daughter) have had breast cancer, especially if they had it at a young age, your parent’s risk of breast cancer will be increased. But it’s also important to note that most people who develop breast cancer have no family history of it so make sure your parent doesn’t use the excuse of no family history to neglect checking herself for breast cancer. Setting up reminders for home exams (even if you or your elderly care simply write it on a calendar) will help your parent remember to do monthly self-checks.


    • Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. Some gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed from parents to children. If family members have had cancer, you might want to ask them to be checked for these mutated genes so that your parent will know if she needs more than the standard preventative care.


    • Radiation exposure. If your parent received radiation treatments to her chest as a child or young adult, her risk of breast cancer is increased.


    • Beginning her period before the age of 12. Early periods have been linked to increased breast cancer risk.


    • Starting menopause at an older age. If your parent did not start menopause until she was older than the normal age, it could increase her risk of breast cancer.


    • Postmenopausal hormone therapy. If your parent takes (or took) hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause, she could have an increased risk of breast cancer. The good news is that the risk of breast cancer decreases when women stop taking these medications.


    • Having her first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.


  • Alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Encouraging responsible drinking will have multiple health benefits.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Home Care Services in Birmingham, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.