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Acta Médica Costarricense

versão On-line ISSN 0001-6002versão impressa ISSN 0001-6012


ASTORGA-RAMIREZ, Andrea; SANCHEZ-PORTUGUEZ, Jennifer  e  SOLIS-BARQUERO, Sergio M.. Review of breast cancer risk and protection factors. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2022, vol.64, n.4, pp.6-16. ISSN 0001-6002.


To review relevant clinical aspects for the attending physician to consider when interpreting the reports of radiological findings in the mammogram and other diagnostic tests for a comprehensive breast cancer diagnosis. 2 ISSN 0001-6012 • eISSN 2215-5856 / Acta méd. costarric. 2022 / octubre-diciembre; 64 (4): 1-11 Cáncer mama factores de riesgo y de protección


A systematic literature review was carried out focusing on risk and protective factors associated with breast cancer incidence, within peer-reviewed scientific articles published between 2010 and 2020. Published research on women with a breast cancer diagnoses who participated in randomized clinical trials, case control studies, systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and international guides were used. Research terms were searched on PubMed, EBSCO and Scopus databases, published in Spanish and English, using terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).


A total of 735 publications were found of which 508 were excluded due to title content being irrelevant to the review. Of the remainder 227, 22 were excluded due to been repeated across the different databases used, 12 because they did not meet the inclusion criteria, 83 after abstract review, and 28 after reading the whole text. A total of 82 papers were used for this review. The identified factors were categorized in three areas: pathophysiological, gynecological and obstetrics, and environmental factors. The pathophysiological risk factors are, family history, atypical hyperplasia, ethnicity, age, diabetes type II, metabolic syndrome, greater weight and height and genetic mutations; the gynecological and obstetric factors are early menarche, late menopause and nulliparity; and the environmental factors include prescription drugs, lifestyle habits, medical procedures and eating habits. Regarding the protector factors, the pathophysiological factors include hypothyroidism, asthma and allergic rhinitis; in the gynecological and obstetrics category are multiparity, the first pregnancy at early age and breast feeding; lastly, the environmental factors include prescription drugs, medical procedures and eating habits.


Considering the risk and protector factors for breast cancer would allow a more comprehensive approach in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Palavras-chave : Breast neoplasm; mammography; risk factors; protective factors.

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