JOPLIN, MO-- "For post menopausal women, body mass index does play a role because fatty tissue is where a majority of a woman's estrogen comes from after menopause." Before menopause, Dr. Elizabeth Kent says it's less about the bmi and more important to get regular exercise. She points out one risk factor you CAN control is how much alcohol you drink. "One drink or more per day. The risk of breast cancer goes up per number of drinks per day."
Kents adds hormone replacement therapy can increase your risk. "Keep it brief, we know four years or less is pretty safe but longer than that for many women does put them at higher risk of developing breast cancer." When you have your first child can also play a role. And Kent recommends finding out as many details as possible about family members who have had breast cancer to better understand your own potential risk.