Being overweight, getting too little exercise, and drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day can raise the risk of developing breast cancer. Birth control pills and some forms of postmenopausal hormone therapy can also boost your risk.
But the risk goes back to normal after these medications are stopped. Among survivors, good lifestyle choices may be helpful. Recent studies suggest that physical activity may help lower the risk of a recurrence and it's a proven mood-booster.
Some women have a very high risk of breast cancer because they inherited changes in certain genes. The genes most commonly involved in breast cancer are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Women with mutations in these genes have up to an 80% chance of getting breast cancer at some point in life.
Other genes may be linked to breast cancer risk as well.