The “Breast Cancer Risk After Childbirth” research was published by the Annals of Internal Medicine in December 2018. At Montclair Breast Center, we believe knowledge is power and that prevention is just as important as early detection (if not more so!). This month on the blog, we share the results of this newest study.
Montclair Breast Center recommends women visit a breast doctor at age 35 for a risk assessment, physical exam and possible screening. Many women won’t need annual screenings until 40, but some women with additional risk factors should consider starting their regularly scheduled appointments earlier, per their doctors’ recommendations.
Additional risk factors include:
- Family history of breast or ovarian cancer (including aunts, cousins, grandmothers and the paternal side of the family)
- A prior benign breast biopsy
- Menstruation beginning at 11 years old or younger
- Never having a child
- Having your first child at age 30 or older
- Data combined from fifteen studies from around the world has shown that recent childbirth results in a short-term increase in breast cancer risk, which is amplified in women who are older at first birth.
- New information suggests women who have recently had a child are more at risk for breast cancer than their childless counterparts.
- Cancer risk is 3.5x higher after giving birth for women with a family history of breast cancer.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Make an appointment with a breast specialist.
- Employ risk-reducing strategies, especially If you have had children later in life and have a family history of cancer. Risk-reducing strategies include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a whole-food diet
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking
- Eradicating unnecessary stress
As always, speak to your breast doctor regarding your personal risk and how you can reduce that risk.