Risk factors and survival rates for breast cancer

Cancer can happen to different parts of the body, one of the most common cancers among women is breast cancer. The risk factors that can cause breast cancer are generally based on a combination of factors. Breast cancer can be caused by a variety of risk factors and the survival rate depends fairly on the stage of cancer. One of the major risk factors for breast cancer is getting older, it is more common among women who are above 50. Some women get breast cancer even without the occurrence of other risk factors associated with the condition. Let us have a closer look at the risk factors and survival rate of breast cancer:

  • Aging: As mentioned above, aging is one of the most prominent risk factors for breast cancer. Most breast cancer patients are above 50 years of age.
  • Genes: Nearly 5% to 10% of the breast cancers are caused by gene mutations like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. If you are exposed to either of these genes, then the risk of you getting breast cancer rises by about 45% to 65%. But the existence of these genes does not always mean that you are prone to breast cancer, in some cases cancer survivors test their children for the condition.
  • Radiation therapy: Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one condition that requires you to take the radiation therapy; getting this therapy before the age of 30 increases the chances of you getting breast cancer. You must note that the radiation therapy is carried around the chest and this is what makes it a risk factor for breast cancer, the survival rate is still the same.
  • Overweight: Before your menopause, most of the estrogen from the body finds its way out from the body through the ovaries. After the menopause, it finds its way from the fat tissues thereby increasing your weight. This combines two risk factors for breast cancer, the survival rate is not affected by the risk factor. Aging and overweight mostly go hand in hand as menopause is a condition that comes in the latter stage of your life.

Survival rate

Even if there are various reasons and risk factors for breast cancer, the survival rate mostly depends on the stage of diagnosis and treatment. The survival rate is not very clear as there have been varied results for treatment at different stages.

The stage of the cancer is rated in accordance with the size of the tumor and how it has spread around the body. Breast cancer broadly is divided into four stages from 0 to IV, based on the analysis mentioned before. In simple words, stage 0 means that the disease hasn’t spread and is at its least effectivity, while at stage IV it has spread and is most effective.

Here are the survival rates from the American Cancer Society’s analysis:

  • Stage 0-I: 100%
  • Stage 0-II: 93%
  • Stage 0-III: 72%
  • Stage 0-IV: 22%

Each of the types of breast cancer has a different type of prognosis and a unique responsiveness to medical requirements. The best way to increase the survival rate, as said by the survivors, is to follow the directions by the physician.