Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer afflicting mostly women. Over the years, the total number of women being affected by this form of cancer has increased manifold and the recovery rate is quite low when the killer disease is detected in later stages.
Although the factors that cause breast cancer are not exactly known, there are certain risk factors that are often associated with the disease. Despite the fact that a combination of environmental and genetic risk factors is believed to trigger breast cancer, here is a list of factors that can possibly cause the killer disease.
Causes Of Breast Cancer
The risk of breast cancer is often found to be greater among women who have a close blood relative suffering from the ailment. Breast cancer in first-degree relatives such as mother, sister or daughter double’s a woman’s chances of developing the disease.
Genetic Risk Factors
The risk of developing breast cancer is believed to increase substantially with certain genetic mutations. Changes in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA 2, when inherited, are known to accentuate the chances of developing breast cancer to a large degree. Women carrying these genes are also at a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. Apart from these two genes, a variety of other genes have also been identified which are instrumental in increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Age is an important risk factor that is linked with an increased possibility of developing breast cancer. Women who are in their 50’s or above are more susceptible to develop the killer disease in comparison to their younger counterparts. Although the disease can occur at any age, the chances of developing the ailment enhances with age.
Women who started menstruating before the age of 12 and reached menopause after 55 are said to have a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer. Experts reiterate that in these cases, the woman’s body has been more exposed to hormones estrogen and progesterone due to which the breast cancer risk is high. Meanwhile, it is also believed that women who have borne children after the age of 30 and those who have never given birth are more prone to breast cancer.
Exposure To Radiation
Exposure to radiation at an early age is seen to increase the breast cancer risk to a large extent. Women who have received radiation in the chest area during their teens are more likely to develop breast cancer. However, when women above the age of 40 are exposed to radiation in the chest region, the cancer risk doesn’t seem to accentuate considerably.
Some studies have pointed out that women who breast-feed for a longer period of time are less likely to develop breast cancer. Indulging in breast-feeding for close to two years apparently decreases the likelihood of developing the killer disease.
Health experts have indicated that obese women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer in comparison to their healthier counterparts. Women who maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and check their weight are known to be at a much lesser risk of developing the disease.