Medical Dictionary of Bone Cancer

C A N C E R  I N F O R M A T I O N

Breast Cancer Causes

Unfortunately no one truly knows breast cancer causes. Breast cancer causes are not fully understood and they are still being researched. What is known about breast cancer causes is that it is very unlikely that a very young woman will develop breast cancer, yet the risk of developing breast cancer increases as a girl ages. We also know that more than half of breast cancer occurs in older women, or women who are more than 65 years of age. So, it does appear that age plays a major role in breast cancer causes.

Here are some breast cancer causes that are currently being investigated:

  • Having previouly had breast cancer in the past.
  • A woman who has had certain types of benign breast diseases such as lobular carcinoma in situ or atypical lobular hyperplasia may find that it is a sign that can point to breast cancer causes.
  • Women who take hormone replacement therapy or who have taken it in the past may be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, younger females who take hormone replacement therapy because they enter menopause early or because they have had a hysterectomy do not appear to have an increased risk of breast cancer until after the age of 50. So, again, age seems to play a role in breast cancer causes.
  • Taking birth control pills may slightly elevate the risk of a woman developing breast cancer.
  • Women who do not become pregnant and bare children are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer then women who do have children.
  • Girls that start mensturating early or have an early puberty, as well as women who have a late menopause, seem to be at a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Women who have never breastfed a baby are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than women who have breastfed a baby.  
  • Being overweight or heavy after menopause can increase the chances that a woman will develop breast cancer.
  • Consuming a lot of alocholic beverages can slightly increase the risk of a woman developing breast cancer.

It is thought that one in ten women will develop breast cancer by inheriting faulty genes. There have been two genes identified as breast cancer genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2. These two genes are breast cancer causes and it is thought that more cancer causing genes will be found in the future.

You should make sure you do regular self breast examinations. You should get your first mammogram at the age of 35 and have one every two years after the age of 40. Once a woman is 50 years of age she should have a mammogram annually. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family you should start receiving mammograms even earlier. Mammography can catch breast cancer in its earliest stages and since its implementation it has reduced the mortality rate of breast cancer by 20 to 30 %.

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