Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Risks

06/09/2010

Question:

Does the risk of breast cancer rise depending on when a women starts their periods and when they go through menopause? I had my first period when I was 11 and since I was 35 I started perimenopause that my doctor says is brought on by me consant use of Prednisone for my RA. I have no family history of breast cancer but do for other types of cancers. I do my brest self exam every month and the has been no change. I make sure I do that every month because a friend of mine died of breast cancer when she was only 33.

Answer:

The most significant risk factor for getting breast cancer is simply being a woman.  Age of onset of menses is only one of many factors that affect breast cancer risk.  With respect to periods, starting early and never having children, or having children late in life, increases breast cancer risk.  Stopping periods early does not increase risk.  Many other factors affect risk, but it is important for all women to screen for breast cancer, because many do not have any known risk factors.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University