Breast Cancer Risk Factors

VIDEO | 12:30

Medical oncologist Elizabeth Comen explains that women diagnosed with DCIS or LCIS, noncancerous lesions found in the ducts or milk-producing lobules within the breast, have a higher risk of breast cancer. Doctors usually offer treatment to women with these conditions to prevent cancer from developing.

Excessive alcohol consumption and obesity may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, although there is no consensus about how much alcohol or weight is too much.

Studies suggest that postmenopausal women who are overweight or obese may also have a higher risk of breast cancer. Medical oncologist Clifford Hudis explains that higher body fat can result in increased secretion of prostaglandin, a chemical that flips a genetic switch telling the body to make estrogen, which can lead to the growth of breast tumors.