There is no known cause for breast cancer but there are many risk factors which are linked to breast cancer. Estrogen and excess body fat are two main risks and even after menopause women may produce estrogen produced by the body fat, which increases the risk.
Risks causing breast cancer
Age: Women who are above forty-five years are at a high risk and it has been found that in eighty percent of the cases of breast cancer, women are above fifty years.
Women already suffered from breast cancer: If you have been previously diagnosed and treated for this type of cancer, you are at a high risk of getting the same problem after some years. Diseases such as tumor in other parts of the body also increase the risk.
Hereditary causes: Women, who have somebody in the family suffering from the problem, are at a high risk.
Genetic causes: If somebody in your blood relation is suffering from breast cancer, you should ask her to get diagnosed and find out if the cancer is due to genetic causes. Gene mutation is responsible for five to ten percent of breast cancers and two common genes involved in mutation are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Families belonging to Ashkenazi background of Europe have been linked to the disease and these women also have a high risk of developing ovarian cancer. Other genes responsible for the disease are RB suppressor gene, GADD repair group, p53, AT etc. These genes may either cause the disease or aid in the growth of the disease.
Estrogen: Exposure to hormone estrogen for long can cause this type of cancer. Women who had their first menstrual before twelve years, and had a late menopause, are exposed for many years to the hormone. The women, who had no pregnancies or pregnancy after the age of thirty, are at a high risk.
Taking certain birth control pill also raises the risks: The risk disappears in women who are not taking pills for more than ten years.
Hormone replacement therapy: The therapy is taken by women to relieve the pain of menopause and it can increase the risk, if the therapy is used for more than ten years.
Related diseases: Disease such as fibroadenoma (benign tumor of fibrous tissues), hyperplasia (production of cells) and atypia (abnormalities in the cells structure) can increase the risk.
Alcohol: Women taking alcohol are at a high risk as the women who take more than three drinks in a day have a high level of estrogen, although the relation between estrogen and drinks is has not been established.
Exposure to harmful radiation: Women, who were exposed to Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bomb radiation, are at a high risk. Radiation therapy or X-rays checks up for Tuberculosis at a young age, increases the risk of developing abnormal cells in the body.
Diet and environment: There are also other causes such as:
1. Women who are exposed to pollutants can suffer from tumors
2. Cigarette smoking
3. Eating a diet rich in fat
4. Women who suffered from miscarriage
5. Excess body weight