Not all of us women have the same risk for developing breast cancer over a lifetime. Certain factors increase our risk, and some have a bigger impact on risk than others. However, having several risk factors doesn't mean you'll inevitably develop breast cancer. Likewise, having few risk factors doesn't mean that you'll never develop it. Many factors, such as age and gender, are not within our control. Others, especially those related to personal behaviours, can be modified.

Some of the most common reasons for developing cancer are:

  • Gender:
    Men can develop breast cancer, but it's 100 times more common in women than men, mostly because women's breast tissue is far more exposed to hormones such as oestrogen that promote abnormal cell growth.
  • Age:
    About 75% of cases occur in women ages 50 and over, while 10-12% occur in women under age 40
  • Family history:
    Women who have two or more first-degree relatives (mother, daughter, sister) with breast or ovarian cancer have a greater than 50% chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Certain benign breast conditions:
    Women who've had biopsies that show an overgrowth of cells (hyperplasia) in the ducts or lobules have an increased risk for breast cancer, particularly if the cells appear abnormal (a condition called atypical hyperplasia).
  • Exposure to radiation:
    Women who've had high-dose radiation to the chest as part of treatment for another cancer (such as Hodgkin's disease) have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially if they underwent radiation during adolescence.

As a hospital, years of research and clinical experience have given us the tools – including advanced software and imaging solutions – to detect breast cancer early — and we at VishwaRaj Hospital do everything in our stride to help diagnose and treat this disease.