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What Causes Breast Cancer?

What Causes Breast Cancer?

It is still unknown exactly what causes most cases of breast cancers. However, some risk factors have been linked to an increased chance of being diagnosed with the disease. Recent research has shown that some of these risk factors, such as smoking or heavy drinking, can affect the DNA of cells in the pancreas, which can lead to abnormal cell growth and may cause tumors to form.

But risk factors don’t tell the whole story. Having a risk factor, or even several doesn’t mean that a woman will get breast cancer. Some women who have one or more risk factors are never diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, most women who do get breast cancer don’t have any risk factors. Some risk factors are greater than others, and the risk for breast cancer can change over time from aging or lifestyle. These risk factors include the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family History
  • Race
  • Various environmental factors

Risk Factors

While there is no way to prevent cancer of the breast, minimizing these risk factors can help to reduce the chances of developing a diagnosis. Smoking increases the risk of getting cancer of the pancreas by two to three times. Environmental factors also play somewhat of a factor. Be especially aware of any prolonged contact or interaction with pesticides or chemicals. Additionally, early and chronic exposure to radiation increases the chances of developing breast cancer.

There are some things, however, that cannot be changed. A family history of breast cancer increases the risks of developing a diagnosis. Additionally, age is a contributing factor as older women are far more likely of developing breast cancer than younger women. Women have a much greater chance than men of developing breast cancer, almost 100 times more. African-Americans, too, have a statistically greater chance of dying from breast cancer, while white women are more likely to be diagnosed in general. In these cases, it is important to speak with your doctor about screen procedures to monitor your risk.

There may be a link between breast cancer and women who began having periods early, before the age 12. Women who underwent menopause after the age of 55 also have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Dense breast tissue means there is more gland tissue and less fatty tissue. Women with denser breast tissue have a higher risk of breast cancer. Dense breast tissue can also make it harder for doctors to spot problems on mammograms.

Featured Image: depositphotos/Syda_Productions

Posted on May 5, 2023