You have probably heard that breast bruising or tight bras can cause cancer and maybe someone has commented that cancer is contagious like flu, but these and other myths are mere myths with no evidence.
Nobody knows for sure what the causes of this cancer are, only some of the known risk factors. These factors do not determine that the person who has cancer suffer only increases the likelihood of developing cancer.
Some of the risk factors are under your control such as your diet, how much exercise you do or how much alcohol you drink. Other factors cannot change the fact that others in your family have suffered from breast cancer.
Scientific studies have determined that the following factors increase the likelihood of breast cancer;
The risk of breast cancer increases with age and usually is diagnosed in women over 60 years.
The risk of cancer increases if your mother, sister or daughter is diagnosed with breast cancer, especially if the family member was diagnosed before the age of 50.
The risk of breast cancer in the other breast increases if one has already suffered from this disease.
Having certain genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 increases the risk. If breast cancer occurs in several women, family doctors can determine whether these genes are present. If they do, doctors may recommend measures to reduce the risk such as breasts surgically removed before cancer develops. It is highly recommended to have careful and detailed discussion with several doctors before making such a decision.
Radiation Therapy to Chest before Age of 30
Women who have received chest radiation to treat other cancers such as Hodgkin lymphoma have an increased risk of breast cancer. The more young people are to receive radiation, the greater the risk of cancer is later in life.
Reproductive and Menstrual Cycle history
The risk of breast cancer increases in women if;
- They are older when they had their first child.
- They have never given birth.
- They had menopause after age of 55.
- They take hormone therapy to control the symptoms of menopause by several years.
The larger the area with dense breast tissue is, as directed by a mammogram, the greater the risk of breast cancer is.
In post-menopause situation, risk is higher in overweight women.
Women who do not perform any physical activity are at increased risk for this cancer.
Risk increases in proportion to the amount of alcohol women drink; more alcohol consumption means greater risk.
Taking Diethylstilbestrol (DES) during Pregnancy
DES is a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen that is no longer administered to pregnant women. One reason is that women who took may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Interestingly, it is possible that this effect has been passed on to their daughters during pregnancy. Researchers are yet to explore this possibility.