Understanding what causes breast cancer is a crucial consideration for women who are trying desperately to prevent the disease from ravaging their bodies and minds. Unfortunately, while science has many statistics concerning possible causes and contributors to cancer formation, there is no definitive answer to the question of a singular cause. Worse still is the fact that theories come and go, detailing possible ways to reduce the chance of suffering from cancer, as well as theories explaining why some women get cancer and others do not.
In almost all cases, history has taught that these theories often prove to be incorrect, only partially correct or based on anecdotal or coincidental findings, rather than solid medical facts.
What Causes Breast Cancer? / Factors
Here are many of the possible causes and contributors to breast cancer development:
Simply being female makes a woman far more susceptible than being a male. However, men do get breast cancer also and can die from it.
Mutation in certain genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) can increase the risk for tumor formation. This can be tested for, using DNA analysis.
Race and ethnic background play small roles in the incidence of cancer, as well as the chances of beating the disease.
Women who begin their menstrual period early in life, or end it late in life, have an increased risk for breast cancer.
As women age, their risk increases for cancer formation.
A family history of breast cancer makes a woman more susceptible.
Women who have never had children, or who had them very late in their lives, are at increased risk.
Women who never breastfed demonstrate a slightly increased risk.
Oral birth control may increase the risk of some types of breast cancer.
Various hormone, and hormone replacement, therapies are known to increase cancer risks; some significantly.
A personal history of breast cancer, or other type of cancer, makes a woman more susceptible.
Women with dense glandular breast tissue, as opposed to fatty breast tissue, have a higher risk for development and also suffer a decreased chance of early detection.
Excessive alcohol consumption has been inked to increased risk for cancer formation.
Smoking cigarettes, or marijuana, may increase the risk for cancer in the breast.
Obesity is a major factor in cancer formation.
There are many dietary theories supporting causes, contributors and preventors of cancer. These change often and have the least long-term credibility in many cases.
Geographic location may play a vital role in cancer formation. Whether this is due to pollution, water or other factors remains a subject of speculation in most cases.
A sedentary lifestyle slightly increases the incidence of breast cancer.
Not sleeping enough, or sleeping at odd times, such as in the case of people who work at night, may increase the chances for breast cancer minimally.
Breast Cancer Causes and Contributors
Year over year, the theories of what exactly causes breast cancer change. Some have stood the test of time in their general nature, although new and revised information is still being revealed regularly on many of the established potential causes.
In other cases, information may reveal new potential causes or the innocent nature of old suspected causes. This merely demonstrates that science, and medicine in particular, are revisionary arts, with the accepted “truths” changing year to year.
The only thing we know, with absolute certainty, is that we really do not know much at all.
Overview of What Causes Breast Cancer
We always advise women to understand the cancer risks which may apply to them and do everything possible to reduce or eliminate risk factors from their lives.
Unfortunately, there are many possible contributors to cancer formation which can not be changed.
However, it is prudent to alter behaviors which do contribute to the risk, while there is still time to do so.
More than anything, we advise women to live healthy lives of activity and moderation. Do not deny or indulge too much, but balance your body with healthy doses of exercise, food and spiritual enrichment. Above all else, this is one prescription which stands a good chance of maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit for years to come.