The BreastCare Center

Each year, approximately 3,400 women in Arizona are diagnosed with breast cancer. Many of these women live in Yavapai County, where breast cancer rates in women were higher than in any other Arizona county from 2000 through 2009.

Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can help reduce your risk as well as about developing a breast health screening plan. If you don’t have a healthcare provider and don’t undergo regular digital mammography screening, the Community BreastCare Fund may be available to assist you with free mammography screening and other breast health support.

    Women are 100 times more likely than men to develop breast cancer.


    According to the American Cancer Society, at age 20, a woman has a one in 1,681 chance of developing breast cancer. By age 50, her chance for developing breast cancer narrows to one in 42.


    White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than are African-American women. However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer. For women under 45 years of age, breast cancer is more common among African-American women. Asian, Hispanic and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.


    Do you have a family member who has had breast or ovarian cancer before the age of 50? Women with family members who have had breast cancer may have increased risk for breast cancer.


    Ten to 15 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary. The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Inheriting either of these mutations can make you up to 80 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than people without them. In the U.S., these gene mutations are found most often in Jewish women of Eastern European origin, but they can occur in any racial or ethnic group.


    Ask your healthcare provider if you have dense breast tissue. Women with more glandular tissue and less fatty tissue are at higher risk for breast cancer. It can also make screening and identifying abnormalities more challenging.


    Women who began menstruating before age 12 and did not go through menopause until after the age of 55 have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer.


    If you have had breast cancer in one breast, you are three to four times more likely to develop cancer again in the same breast or in the other breast.


Risk Factors You Can Address

    Women who consume one glass of alcohol a day have a very slight increased risk for breast cancer. Two to five alcoholic drinks daily makes a woman 1½ times more likely to develop breast cancer.


    Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of breast cancer. This is true especially for women after menopause. Overweight women also tend to have higher blood insulin levels, which are also linked to breast cancer.


    Taking birth control pills puts a woman at a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer. Once the woman discontinues oral contraceptives, this risk disappears.