Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is the most common cancer among women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall. The exact cause of breast cancer is not known, but several risk factors have been identified. These include genetics, age, hormonal changes, lifestyle factors, and exposure to certain chemicals and radiation. Understanding these risk factors is important for early detection and prevention of breast cancer.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common risk factors for breast cancer, and how they can affect a person’s likelihood of developing the disease. It’s important to note that having one or more risk factors does not mean that a person will definitely develop breast cancer, and many people with breast cancer have no known risk factors.
10 points on major cause of breast cancer are :
Inheriting certain genetic mutations, such as mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, can increase the risk of breast cancer. These mutations are inherited from a person’s parents and are relatively rare, but they can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer, particularly if the mutation is in the BRCA1 gene. It’s important to note that not everyone who inherits these mutations will develop breast cancer, and many people with breast cancer do not have these mutations.
The risk of breast cancer increases as a woman gets older. The majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over the age of 50.
3. Hormonal changes
Factors such as starting menstruation at a young age, going through menopause at an older age, and never having children or having them later in life can affect the levels of hormones in the body and increase the risk of breast cancer. The longer a woman is exposed to estrogen and progesterone, hormones that can promote the growth of breast cells, the greater her risk of breast cancer.
4. Lifestyle factors
Consuming alcohol, particularly more than one drink per day, can increase the risk of breast cancer. Being physically inactive and being overweight or obese, especially after menopause, can also increase the risk of breast cancer.
5. Exposure to certain chemicals and radiation
Exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides and certain industrial chemicals, and radiation, such as radiation therapy to the chest area, can increase the risk of breast cancer.
6. Family history
Having a close relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer increases the risk of developing it. Women who have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer have about twice the risk of developing the disease.
7. Personal history of breast conditions
Having a non-cancerous breast disease or atypical cells increases the risk of breast cancer. Women who have had atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
Breast cancer is more common in white women than African-American women but African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer. Factors such as lack of access to healthcare, poorer survival rate and more aggressive tumors are some of the reasons for that.
9. Reproductive history
Women who have their first child after age 30 or never have children have a higher risk of breast cancer. Pregnancy and breastfeeding lower the risk of breast cancer by reducing the number of menstrual cycles.
10. Hormone therapy
Women who take hormone therapy for menopause symptoms have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer, particularly if they take it for a long time. Hormone therapy that contains both estrogen and progestin (combined hormone therapy) increases the risk more than therapy that contains estrogen alone.
Breast cancer is a complex disease that can be caused by a combination of factors. Some risk factors, such as genetics and age, cannot be changed, while others, such as lifestyle factors, can be modified to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. It’s important for women to be aware of their risk factors and to take steps to reduce their risk where possible, such as by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and being physically active. Regular screening and early detection can help in detecting breast cancer at an early stage and improve the chances of successful treatment. If you have any concerns about your risk of breast cancer, please consult your doctor. Remember that breast cancer can be prevented and it’s important to be informed and to take action.