Breast cancer treatment may soon take into account a woman's breast density, as well as the age of their mother when she was born.
Women born to mothers aged 39 and over are more likely to have a higher mammographic density and subsequently have an increased chance of developing the disease, according to a new study published in the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment journal.
The study conducted at the Carlos III Health Institute analysed the medical records of more than 3,500 women between the ages of 45 and 68 and made the link between maternal age and cancer risk.
Women who were tall and thin before puberty were also found to have a higher breast density - a characteristic traditionally associated with tumour risk.
According to research from the American Association for Cancer Research, women with a mammographic density of 75 per cent or more are five times more likely to develop the disease that those with a low density.
Authorities around the world recently held World Cancer Day to raise awareness about controllable risk factors.