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    Age as a Risk Factor in Breast Cancer

    The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. The great majority of breast cancer cases occur in women older than age 50. Cancer changes develop slowly over time from normal, to premalignant, to cancerous and invasive stages. For this reason, breast cancer is more common among older women.

    This does not mean there is cause for concern for developing breast cancer because you have turned 50. Generally speaking, it just means more diseases present themselves as we age.

    As many studies suggest, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and positive outlook, rather than worrying about your overall health, can be a major factor in avoiding illness.

    AGE-SPECIFIC PROBABILITIES OF DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER*

    By the Age of:

    Your Chances of Developing Breast Cancer Are:

    Percentage of Women with Chance of Developing Breast Cancer Are:

    25

    1 in 19,608

    0.005%

    30

    1 in 2,525

    0.04%

    35

    1 in 622

    0.16%

    40

    1 in 217

    0.46%

    45

    1 in 93

    1.07%

    50

    1 in 50

    2.00%

    55

    1 in 33

    3.03%

    60

    1 in 24

    4.17%

    65

    1 in 17

    5.88%

    70

    1 in 14

    7.14%

    75

    1 in 11

    9.09%

    80

    1 in 10

    10.00%

    85

    1 in 9

    11.11%

    Lifetime
    1 in 8 12.50%

    * Data collected from various sources including:

    American Cancer Society, NIH/NCI

    References:

    *Albain KS, Allred DC, Clark GM. Breast cancer outcome and predictors of outcome: are there age differentials? J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 1994;(16):35-42.
    *Block G. Vitamin C, cancer and aging. Age 1993;16(2):55-8.
    *Chie W-C, Chen C-F, Lee W-C, Chen C-J, Lin R-S. Age-period-cohort analysis of breast cancer mortality. Anticancer Res 1995;15(2):511-5.
    *Pike MC, Krailo MD, Henderson BE, et al.: 'Hormonal' risk factors, 'breast tissue age' and the age-incidence of breast cancer. Nature 303(5920): 767-770, 1983.
    *Satariano WA, Swanson GM. Racial differences in cancer incidence: the significance of age-specific patterns. Cancer 1988 Dec 15;62(12):2640-53.
    *Tarone RE, Chu KC, Gaudette LA. Birth cohort and calendar period trends in breast cancer mortality in the United States and Canada. J Natl Cancer Inst 1997 Feb 5;89(3):251-6.
    *Velentgas P, Daling JR. Risk factors for breast cancer in younger women. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 1994;(16):15-24.
    *Wells JNB. Purpose in life and breast health behavior in Hispanic and Anglo women [dissertation]: Denton: Texas Woman's Univ.; 1998. 153 p.
    *Wingo PA, Lee NC, Ory HW, Beral V, Peterson HB, Rhodes P. Age-specific differences in the relationship between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer. Cancer 1993 Feb 15;71(4 Suppl):1506-17.
    *Zhu K. Breast cancer and risk factors among African-American women aged 20-54: a case-control study according to estrogen receptor. Annual report 1 Sep 96-31 Aug 97. Nashville (TN): Meharry Medical College; 1997 Sep. 89 p. Available from: NTIS, Springfield, VA; DAMD17-96-1-6270.

     

    also see -> Are You At Risk For Breast Cancer?

     

     

     

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