Could that sexy underwire bra cause breast cancer? What about that frozen yogurt you just ordered? Or hormone therapy? And how would you know if you had the disease until it was too late anyway? Don't some studies show that examining your breasts and getting mammograms are useless?
No risk factor either alone or in combination with others means you'll definitely get breast cancer. There are various factors that may increase your risk of developing the disease. Some of these appear to increase your risk only slightly. They include smoking, drinking (more than five alcoholic drinks per week year after year), getting your first menstrual period before age 12, continuing to have periods after age 50, and not having your first full-term pregnancy until after age 30. If you have a number of these, the increase in risk can start to be more meaningful.That said, even an inherited genetic abnormality in your family doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get breast cancer. Abnormalities in the so-called breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are very strong risk indicators. But 20 to 60 percent of women with these inherited abnormalities will not develop breast cancer.