Top Seven Risk Factors and Causes of Breast Cancer

Top Seven Risk Factors and Causes of Breast Cancer


Breast cancer is a common type of cancer that affects both women and men. It happens when the cancerous cells in the breast multiply and become tumours. In about 80 per cent of cases, the tumour is invasive and spreads to other body parts. Below is an explanation of the risk factors and causes of breast cancer.

Risk Factors and Causes of Breast Cancer

  • Drinking Alcohol

In today’s stressful life, people find refuge in alcohol, and most of them drink regularly. Research suggests that people who consume one alcoholic beverage every day have a 7 to 10 per cent chance of getting breast cancer than those who don’t drink. This percentage increases to 20 per cent if the person is drinking more than three alcoholic drinks every day. It is imperative to start cutting down on the intake of alcohol, especially for those who drink more than three alcoholic drinks every day, to reduce the risks of getting breast cancer.

  • Being Overweight

Being overweight, Causes of Breast Cancer

Being obese is an invitation to many diseases, and breast cancer is one of them. In women, after menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen, so estrogen comes from the fat tissue. The more fat a woman has, the more estrogen is there, which leads to breast cancer. Women who are overweight also have higher blood insulin levels, which can cause diabetes and cancer. In such cases, they should make lifestyle changes to reduce their weight and have a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. The more the person loses weight, the more it reduces the cancer risk. 

  • Leading A Sedentary Lifestyle

It connects with the point above, as a sedentary lifestyle causes weight gain. Today people don’t have time to exercise as they are busy with their office and family. Weight gain happens due to sitting and working long hours, unhealthy food choices, and very little to no exercise. All these increase the risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends 150 to 300 minutes of intense activity like brisk walking and  70 to 150 minutes of running. The more active the people become, the less the chances of having breast cancer.

  • Choices Related To The Reproductive History

In cases, when the women decide to have children late or sometimes never, this choice can affect their body and lead to a higher risk of getting breast cancer. It happens because the breast tissue gets exposed to estrogen for a longer period. The risk of having breast cancer is significantly lower in women who had early pregnancy and have more than two children. If a woman decides to have a late pregnancy, then they should chalk out a plan with their doctor to prevent breast cancer and consider regular screening.

  • Getting Periods Very Early Or Very Late Menopause

If a girl has started getting her periods before she has turned 12, she is at a higher risk of getting breast cancer because of an increase in the number of years that her breast tissue gets exposed to estrogen. If she has menopause after the age of 55, then the risk of having breast cancer increases.

Also Read: PCOS: Managing Work With PCOS, Symptoms, Prevention & Tips

  • Don’t Neglect Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best way to form a bond between a mother and a child, and it is also beneficial to reduce the chances of breast cancer. Researchers suggest that a woman should only breastfeed her child for the first six months after birth, and after that, they can supplement with appropriate food.

  • Be Cautious With The Intake Of Hormones

Sometimes, doctors might prescribe contraceptive pills that would help with menstrual cramping. However, taking these pills can increase the risk of breast cancer. It includes- Oral contraceptives, birth control shots and implants, Intrauterine devices (IUDs), birth control skin patches and vaginal rings. Also, going through combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer exponentially.

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