Breast cancer is a kind of malignant growth that affects the inner linings of the lobules or the milk ducts. Global statistics state that over 22.9 percent of cancer cases in the world are diagnosed for breast cancer. Breast cancer is mainly found in women, though there are cases of male breast cancer as well.
Approximately 14 percent of the total cancer deaths in women have been attributed to breast cancer. Numerous research studies have estimated certain causes behind the development of breast cancer in women. However, it must be noted that the causes behind the appearance of the disease in certain women, may not be prevalent in other patients. Given below is an insight into the common causes related to breast cancer in women.
CAUSES OF BREAST CANCER
According to estimates, 80 percent of the total number of breast cancer cases are found in women who have crossed the age of 50. It has been established that age is one of the most common factors associated with the risks of the development of breast cancer. Many ladies who have crossed their menopause stand a greater chance of being diagnosed for breast cancer.
It is very important for all women in the age bracket of 50-70 years of age to be screened for the occurrence of breast cancer. The NHS Breast Screening Programme recommends a regular screening every three years, until the age of 70.
Breast cancer may occur in women who have a history of any family member being diagnosed for breast or ovarian cancer. The chances of the disease being passed down the generation are very strong and there may be multiple instances of breast cancer cases in the same family.
According to recent studies, breast cancer is not hereditary. BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53 are the genes that are responsible for increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. If these genes are passed on to the child through the parent, then there is an increased possibility of the offspring being diagnosed for breast cancer during some later stage in life.
Alcohol consumption is one of the most important causes of breast cancer. Even moderate quantities of alcohol consumption, increase the risks of the development of cancerous cells in the breast.
For example, the women who indulge in more than two drinks everyday, stand a higher risk of being diagnosed for breast cancer than other light or non drinkers. According to experts, alcohol should be totally avoided to eliminate the risks of breast cancer.
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT)
If combined hormone replacement therapies are applied to a patient for a prolonged period of time, then the same may act as an important cause for the occurrence of breast cancer. Menopausal women often undergo hormone replacement therapy for maintaining their progesterone and estrogen levels and warding off other effects and symptoms of menopause. This dangerous side effect of HRT,which may lead to malignancy in women, is making natural remedies for the treatment of menopausal symptoms more and more popular by the day.
Though the association between stress and breast cancer is fairly weak, it has been identified as one of the indirect causes of breast cancer. Women, who have been exposed to stressful situations in life or are in the habit of taking undue stress, tend to indulge in smoking or drinking, thus increasing the risks of breast cancer.
Women who tend to gain more than 30 lbs of weight before their menopause run a higher risk of being diagnosed for breast cancer than those who are not obese. Women, who have already entered their menopause, tend to put on weight, which doubles their breast cancer risks. As the link between increased weight and breast cancer is quite strong, it is important for aging women to keep their weight under check through regular exercises and healthy dietary habits.
USING CONTRACEPTIVE PILLS
Contraceptive pills generally have progesterone and estrogen as their key constituents. The regular intake of pills as oral contraceptives increases the risk of breast cancer in sexually active women.