Despite its high prevalence, breast cancer can be controlled if diagnosed early. In this article, we will introduce you to the main underlying causes of breast cancer, which most people ignore.
Breast tissue in women develops during puberty, during pregnancy, under the influence of hormones; it enlarges and changes with the birth of the baby to prepare for breastfeeding.
Breast tissue in a woman is regularly affected by sex hormones (especially estrogen)
Estrogen and breast cancer
The more the mammary glands are exposed to estrogen, the higher the risk of developing breast cancer (breast adenocarcinoma).
Estrogen promotes the development of the mammary gland tissue of an immature girl and the growth of the mammary ducts. Estradiol is a form of the hormone estrogen that increases the size of the breast
Estrogen is secreted by the ovaries in the first half of the menstrual cycle (there are now studies showing that estrogen may also be present in breast tissue)
Due to the effect of estrogen on the growth and development of the mammary glandular structure, any factor that increases the exposure of the breast to this hormone increases the risk of breast cancer.
What are the major causes of breast cancer that most people ignore?
- Factors that one cannot change:
Having a family history of breast cancer
Infection of a person’s first-degree relatives (such as mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer will put the person at high risk of developing this cancer.
If a person’s first-degree relatives develop breast cancer before the age of forty-five, or if their breast cancer is bilateral, the risk is even higher.
Attention: Women whose mother or sister has breast cancer should start breast cancer screening earlier than the general population
Age:With age, the duration of exposure of mammary gland cells to estrogen will also increase. Although most breast cancers are discovered after the age of 50, younger women also get the cancer.
The length of a woman’s reproductive period:
Early onset of menstruation, such experiencing the first menstrual cycle before the age of twelve, and late menopause, after the age of fifty-five, increase the risk of breast cancer due to the prolonged exposure of the breast to estrogen produced by the ovaries.
Having breasts with dense tissue:
Dense breasts have a higher content of connective tissue than non-dense breasts compared to adipose tissue, which is why it is more difficult to study dense breasts on mammography.
History of breast cancer in first-degree male relatives (father, brother or son)
Having a breast cancer on one side increases the risk of developing breast cancer on the other side.
History of non-cancerous breast lesions and problems:
Lesions such as atypical hyperplasia (increased number of normal cells in the breast tissue) or lobar carcinoma (involvement of milk-producing cells in the mammary glands) can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Having a history of radiotherapy:
Women who have received chest radiotherapy before the age of 30 for various reasons (for example, to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma) will be at higher risk for breast cancer at an older age.
In previous years, around the year 1940 to 1971s, the above drug was used to prevent abortion in pregnant women. Women who took the drug during pregnancy were more likely to develop breast cancer.
Some mutations or mutations in a person’s genes predispose her to breast cancer
One of the most well-known of these mutations is a gene
BRCA1 and BRCA2
There are people who have these genes are more prone to ovarian and breast cancer
- Factors that a person can change:
The cases mentioned above are the underlying causes of breast cancer that cannot be changed.
But a series of factors can also be changed and controlled by the individual, which we will describe below.
Inactivity and obesity:
Increasing body fat mass increases the risk of breast cancer, so by having enough mobility and preventing obesity, we can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Most people who have their first pregnancy after the age of 30, people who have not had a successful pregnancy, or people who have not breastfed their babies or women who have not been pregnant at all are more likely to get breast cancer.
Experience of hormonal therapies:
Hormone treatments in postmenopausal women that last more than five years can increase the risk of breast cancer. Birth control pills can also increase the risk of infection
Consumption of alcoholic beverages:
Studies have shown that a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer increases with increasing alcohol consumption.
- Night work shifts
- Exposure to some carcinogenic chemical compounds
The final words
You can help reduce your risk of breast cancer by getting enough exercise, controlling your weight, avoiding stress, reducing your intake of fast food, fatty and sugary foods, getting enough sleep, not drinking alcohol and smoking.