Breast cancer is one of a woman’s worst fears. It is the most common cancer among women and it is also the number cause of cancer death among women. This disease when caught early can be treated trough chemotherapy and surgery. However, when the signs and symptoms are neglected and the disease progresses, it might be too late. Because of its detrimental effect not only to the physical but psychological as well, many breast cancer foundations were established such as the Susan B. Komen Foundation. These foundations and clinics are exerting effort to promote cancer awareness. Women all over the world are encouraged to take part in the movement to prevent this disease. Women should participate in many activities such as breast cancer awareness week so that they will know the basic facts about this type of cancer. More importantly, women should do their part in cancer prevention. In order to prevent this disease, it is important to understand the risk factors and signs and symptoms of the disease.Risk FactorsThere are many possible causes or risk factors of breast cancer. Some of the risk factors can be avoided but some cannot be avoided. Examples of risk factors which are unavoidable are family history of cancer, age and certain genome changes. Having a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer increases a person’s chance of developing it. In the case of age, the risk increases as a woman grows older. Changes in some genes such as the BRCA1 (breast cancer 1) or BRCA2 will also increase the risk.Risk factors which can be avoided include lack of physical activity, being obese, undergoing radiation therapy on the chest area and drinking alcohol. Women who do not have an active lifestyle are more likely to develop breast cancer as well as other diseases than those who live an active lifestyle. Being overweight can also affect a person’s chance of developing it, and more so after menopause. Research shows that women who had radiation therapy on the chest area before the age of 30 or younger have an increased risk of cancer. Drinking alcohol is also a known risk factor of the disease and other diseases as well.Signs and SymptomsThere are several signs of breast cancer women should be aware of. These signs include changes in the shape and size of the breast and the development of a lump in or near the breast or in the underarms area. Other signs to watch out for are discharges from the nipple especially bloody discharges and dimpling in the breast skin. When the breast skin, nipples and areolas become red, scale or swollen, women should also consult the doctor because these are symptoms of cancer also.PreventionThe prevention of breast cancer is not very difficult. First, women should be aware of the different signs and symptoms. If they notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned, they should go to the doctor for tests. In addition, it is very important to avoid the risk factors mentioned above. Those who have unavoidable risk factors should undergo cancer tests every now and then. Do not wait for the development of the disease before going to the doctor. Women today are fortunate because they can easily find good sources of cancer facts which can help them prevent breast cancer.