To Honor Mother’s Day, Senator Robach Urges Women Over 40 to Get Screened for Breast Cancer

Joseph E. Robach

April 09, 2013

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease. Having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. There are different kinds of risk factors. Some factors can be changed or modified- others cannot be changed, such as age and gender.

  • Gender- Being a woman is the primary risk factor for developing breast cancer. Men can develop breast cancer, but this disease is about 100 times more common among women than men.
  • Aging- Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older.
  • Genetic risk factors- About 5% to 10% of breast cancer is thought to be hereditary.
  • Menstrual periods- Women who menstruate at an early age (before age 12) and/or go through menopause at a later age (after age 55) have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Childbearing- Women who have had no children or who had their first child after age 30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk.
  • Breast-feeding- Some studies suggest that breastfeeding may lower breast cancer risk.
  • Alcohol- The use of alcohol is linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.
  • Being overweight or obese- Being overweight or obese has been found to increase breast cancer risk, especially for women after menopause.
  • Physical activity- Evidence is growing that physical activity in the form of exercise reduces breast cancer risk.
  • Other factors that may play a role:
    • Diet and vitamin intake
    • Chemicals in the environment- Of special interest are compounds in the environment that have estrogen-like properties. For example, substances found in some plastics, certain cosmetics and personal care products, pesticides (such as DDE), and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) seem to have such properties.
    • Tobacco smoke- Some studies have found that smoking and/or secondhand smoke may increase the risk of breast cancer.


Screening for Breast Cancer:

  • Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
  • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Information is from the American Cancer Society at





The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is hosting the “Pink Ribbon Run & Family Fitness Walk”, a Women’s 5K Race and Family 2.5 Mile Fitness Walk.  Every dollar raised stays in the Rochester community to benefit the lives of those impacted by breast cancer.

Date:   MOTHER’S DAY!  Sunday, May 12, 2013
Time:  9:00 a.m. 

Location: Genesee Valley Park at the Roundhouse (NOTE NEW LOCATION)

Parking/Address: Parking available in two large parking lots at the U of R. Shuttle Parking will also be provided at Marketplace Mall in the North Lot off Jefferson Road & Hylan Drive.

Pre-race/walk Registration: $20 or collect pledges, Pre-register and create a fundraising page at or pre-register in person at the Breast Cancer Coalition, 840 University Ave., Rochester, NY  Wednesday-Saturday (May 8-11) before the event.

Race/Walk-day registration: $30 or collect pledges, registration beginning at 7:00 AM on May 12, 2013

More details are available at or by contacting the Breast Cancer Coalition at (585) 473-8177. 



“On Saturday, September 28th, from 10AM to 2PM, I will be hosting my 6th Annual Women’s Wellness Fair in the Mall at Greece Ridge.  The wellness fair will feature a host of vendors from the Rochester community offering information and resources pertinent to your overall wellbeing.  Hope to see you there!”