Breast Cancer Causes

Although breast cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease and probably the one that has been most studied, the exact factors that cause it are still largely unknown. As with other forms of cancer, medicine has emphasized on a few natural and artificial factors that are believed to have a great effect in the formation of breast cancer cells. These include ones age, daily diet, alcohol consumption, use of hormonal-disrupting medication or exposure to certain types of light.

Besides these factors that hold a relative certainty and are proven as a cause of breast cancer, there are a few other unproven ones, such as the use of aluminum salts (found in anti-perspirants) or even abortion, which is thought to disturb the hormone and estrogen levels of a woman, increasing the risk of breast cancer. The latter view on abortion has been heavily combated by many institutions and scientific studies, so the effect it might have as a cause for breast cancer is purely hypothetical and unproven.


But lets take a look at the “proven” causes for breast cancer, since; after all, these are the ones of interest. Age for example is one such cause and it has been scientifically proven that the risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. Studies have shown that for a woman living to the age of 90, the chances of her suffering from breast cancer during her lifetime are roughly around 12-13%.

Men can also be affected by breast cancer and age is a causing factor for them as it is for women; however the same study shows that for a male of the same age, the risk of getting breast cancer during his lifetime is by far lower, around 125 times lower than for women.

Although age affects the risk of getting breast cancer, this does not necessarily mean that it will be more powerful if it appears later. On the contrary, breast cancer tends to be more aggressive when discovered on younger women. The cancer is also harder to spot when it appears at a younger age, since it rarely presents the lumps and visible marks that it does with elder women.


Another cause for increased breast cancer is alcohol consumption. Studies have shown that almost 7% of breast cancer cases are caused by alcohol consumption from the patient and its also proven that the risk of getting breast cancer is roughly 8% higher for women drinking at least two alcohol units per day than for those who drink less, or dont drink at all. It has not yet been medically attested whether or not the type of alcohol affects the risk rate or not, but some studies suggest that wine and “strong alcohols” might have a more pronounced effect in this matter.


Although the above-mentioned causes are the most important ones, there are a few more that are worth taking into consideration. Obesity for example has also been shown to increase the risk for breast cancer, not only because people suffering from obesity usually have a diet that allows or even encourages breast cancer to develop, but also because of the hormonal problems that come with it. Other (less important and scarcely proven) causes may include delaying the first childbirth, not breastfeeding and undergoing hormone replacement therapy, but all these causes are still being studied upon for consistency.