When girls start menstruating at a younger age, the time between breast development and a first full-term pregnancy is usually longer than when menstruation happens later. During this time, breast tissue tends to be immature, overactive, and particularly sensitive to hormonal influences.

Women who started menstruating (having periods) younger than age 12 have a higher risk of breast cancer later in life.

The longer a woman menstruates, the higher her lifetime exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. All of these factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer later in life.

Steps you can take

While you can’t control when you start and stop menstruating, you can make lifestyle choices that can keep your risk as low as it can be:

These are just a few of the steps you can take. Girls who maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly may be able to prevent early puberty.

  • Preventive screening

You should follow screening guidelines as that of general population with average risk