Family history is only one risk factor for breast cancer. Approximately 70% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
Women who do have a family history of breast cancer are about 6 times more at risk. Statistics can often create a great deal of confusion and anxiety ó lulling some women into a false sense of security, while triggering unfounded alarm in others. All women, regardless of their family history, need to understand the risks.
Although there are some known risks associated with some diseases (like smoking and lung cancer), risk factors are far more ambiguous when it comes to breast cancer. Scientists are continually evaluating studies on risk factors based on genetics, diet, pesticides, hormone use, etc.
The key is to not allow yourself to be consumed with worry. Keep a positive attitude, and be diligent about monitoring your breasts and staying current with self-exams and mammograms.