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Causes of Breast Cancer

Uncover the intricate factors contributing to breast cancer as we explore its causes, risk factors, and potential preventive measures in this informative article.

  • 13 Oct 2023
  • 3 min read

Breast cancer is perhaps the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women today, and its prevalence raises many fears among female patients. It’s often difficult to discern what exactly causes it, yet there are certain risk factors that could possibly lead to breast cancer in any woman—what you eat, your age when you have children and whether or not you were ever pregnant can all make a difference. In the next section, we will discuss the key causes of breast cancer so that all women may gain knowledge on how best to avoid developing it. Whether you're curious about your own risks or just looking for more information about this disease, read on!

How is Breast cancer caused?

The causes of breast cancer are many, but genetic mutations also play a major role in the occurrence of breast cancer. The genes that are responsible for the cause of breast cancer include breast cancer gene 1(BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). The genes named TP53 and CHEK2 have also been seen to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, researchers have studied several other causes of breast cancer that may increase the chances of developing breast cancer. These include:

  • Exposure to oestrogen: The major cause of breast cancer almost everyone ignores is the female hormone oestrogen, which can activate the breast cancer cells and cause them to grow. This hormone is stimulated in the body when the ovaries, where the eggs are stored, begin to produce oestrogen at the start of puberty to regulate the menstrual cycle. A person is at risk of developing this cancer when the amount of oestrogen in the body increases up to a certain level than normal.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been studied to increase the risk of developing this cancer if the women take this therapy for a prolonged period, probably more than a year.
  • Women who are aged 50 or older are more at risk to get breast cancer than younger women.
  • Breast cancer can form in both males and females, but the maximum number of cases of breast cancer are reported in women
  • Personal history of cancer. The odds of developing this form of cancer could go up slightly if we have been diagnosed with cancer in the past.
  • Family history. If a first-degree female relative like a mother, sister, or daughter has any history of breast cancer, she is at a greater risk of getting breast cancer.

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The factors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer are:

  • Women with advancing age between 50 and 60 years old are at a higher risk of getting this cancer
  • Post-menopause conditions increase the risk as they trigger the cells of the female reproductive system to mutate, resulting in cancer.
  • Birth control: Most studies have found that women using oral contraceptives or getting long-acting progesterone shots every 3 months for birth control are a little bit more at risk of developing breast cancer than women who have never taken them. Birth control implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), skin patches, and vaginal rings could fuel breast cancer growth.
  • Tobacco use
  • Postmenopausal hormone therapy in which estrogen combined with progesterone has been used to help relieve symptoms of menopause
  • Inherited gene mutations (such as BRCA): The genes that are responsible for breast cancer are breast cancer gene 1(BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), which increase the risk for breast or ovarian cancer.
  • A family history of ovarian cancer also raises our risk of breast cancer.
  • Infertility
  • Obesity


The more we know about the causes of breast cancer, the better prepared we are to take action. Early screening and detection are key to success in treating or preventing this disease. Knowing family history can help individuals understand their personal risk of developing breast cancer. Establishing a good relationship with a doctor who is knowledgeable in breast health is an important step to ensuring your safety. A comprehensive plan including improved lifestyle choices, early examinations, and thorough risk assessment will lead us on the path towards our goal – reducing the prevalence of this dangerous illness. Also, ensure that you have a health insurance plan in place to safeguard yourself against any financial stress.

Disclaimer: the above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

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