Home » Diseases & Conditions » Cancer » Breast Cancer » Breast Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Breast Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Posted by on November 19, 2010

breast cancer risk factorsBreast cancer is a malignancy that originating from cells in the breast. It commonly occur in women, but it may occur in men too.

About 194,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in United States every year. Most of these are women. Only about 2000 were men. Today, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the US and by far the most common cancer in women.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Most women who got breast cancer have had their menopause, but about 2 of every 8 are diagnosed each year are under 50 years.

Breast cancer occurs due to certain changes in the DNA of breast cells that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all living organisms. There are mutations of genes that are inherited, but there also seems to happen on its own without the knowledge of the exact cause.

Breast Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

  • No pregnancy or pregnant at older ages
    Women who are not pregnant or pregnant at aged over 30 have the risk of getting breast cancer slightly higher than women who gave birth at the young age.
  • Taking Post-Menopause Hormone Therapy
    Post-menopausal hormone therapy and menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), has been widely used in a long time to help relieve symptoms of menopause and prevent osteoporosis.

    The use of combination hormone therapy above may increase the risk of breast cancer. This increased risk may occur as soon as 2 years after the use of hormone therapy. In addition, breast cancer usually also likely to be found at an advanced stage.

  • Not Breastfeeding Children
    Some studies found that breastfeeding a child in the long term (1.5-2 years), particularly can lower the risk of breast cancer. A possible explanation is that breast-feeding reduce the total number of woman’s menstrual cycles.
  • Alcohol
    Taking alcohol drink very clearly associated with increased risk of breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Women who drink 2 to 5 glasses of alcohol every day have a risk 1.5 times higher than those who don’t consumed it. Taking excessive alcohol regularly can also increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver. Alcoholic beverages are suggested only 1 glass a day for women.
  • Overweight or Obesity
    Being overweight or obese was found may increase the risk of breast cancer, especially for postmenopausal women. Before menopause, your ovaries produce most. After menopause, most women’s estrogen comes from fat tissue. Having excess fat tissue after menopause can increase your probability of breast cancer due to estrogen levels.
  • Lack of Physical Activity
    Exercise may help in reducing breast cancer risk. The question is how much exercise is needed? In a study from the Women Health Initiative (WHI), brisk walking at least 1 to 2.5 hours per week can reduce 18 percent risk of developing breast cancer.