Multiple risk factors can influence a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer during her lifetime. While many of these risk factors are controllable, such as being overweight after menopause, being physically inactive and drinking alcohol, other risk factors, like age, are beyond a woman’s control. This is not to say that every woman will develop breast cancer as she advances in age. However, the risk of breast cancer does increase with age.
Earlier this week, Angelina Jolie publicly shared her decision to have a preventive double mastectomy and removal of her ovaries in order to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. According to news reports, Angelina made these decisions after learning that she carried a mutated gene known as BRCA1 which significantly increased her chances of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Angelina’s mother passed away at the age of 56 after a seven-year struggle with cancer. Angelina is in her late 30s.