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Breast Health

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Many women overestimate their risk of developing breast cancer, causing themselves unnecessary worry. The cause of breast cancer is still not known, but the best way to make sure that you don't worry unnecessarily is to understand the breast cancer risk factors. This is how Breast Associates can help you gain a better idea of your personal risk of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Facts
  • One in nine women in New Zealand will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • One per cent of breast cancer occurs in men.
  • More than 2600 women in New Zealand are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
  • The cause of breast cancer remains unknown.
The most important risk factors for breast cancer are:
  • Being female
  • Getting older
  • Having a significant family history of breast cancer. You can't change any of these important breast cancer risk factors.
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy for more than five years doubles your risk of breast cancer.
All the other breast cancer risk factors that are widely reported in fact increase your risk of breast cancer by much smaller amounts:
  • Drinking alcohol (and the risk increases the more you drink)
  • Being overweight after menopause
  • Having your first child after 30, or having no children
  • Not breastfeeding your children.
Breast Cancer Myths

While the cause of breast cancer remains unknown, there is no evidence to support claims that the following things increase your risk of breast cancer:

  • Squeezing or bumping your breast
  • Underwire bras
  • Antiperspirants and deodorants
  • Mammograms


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Breast Associates | Ascot Central | 7 Ellerslie Racecourse Drive | Greenlane | Auckland | New Zealand.