Risk Factors

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  • A risk factor for breast cancer is something that increases your chance of developing breast cancer. Being aware of risk factors can help you understand if you are more at risk of developing cancer and the actions you can take to reduce your chances.
  • There are MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS including food choices, activity levels, choosing not to smoke and reducing alcohol intake. These are within our control to change.
  • NON-MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS including family health history, when we got our first period, what age we had babies or if we gave birth at all, are the risk factors that we are unable to change. However, there are steps that we can take early on to understand how they play a role in our overall risk.
  • Risk assessment tools are available online that can help you understand your personal risk of breast cancer. These tools take into account factors such as your family history, age, and and reproductive history, You can use this some of the tools below to start a conversation with your healthcare provider around any recommended action based on your results.
    • Cancer Care Ontario Risk Assessment Tool (generic tool for women in Ontario)
    • The Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) Breast Cancer Risk Calculator (please note this was developed based on data from Black women in the US only, and may be more helpful for younger Black women than those who are older)
peter giligan centre for womens cancer logo and the olive branch of hope logo

References | Glossary | Graphics Designed Nafisa Salima
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