Top 10 Breast Cancer Risk Factors

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4. Exposure to hormones

If you got your period early in life—also called early menarche—and/or went into menopause late, you’ve been exposed to the female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone for a long time. (These hormones are what regulate your periods.) This long-term exposure puts you at higher risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, studies have found that women using oral contraceptives (birth control pills) have a slightly greater risk of breast cancer than women who have never used them, though the Pill has been shown to reduce risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers.

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