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Breast Cancer Causes

February 24, 2021


How do you get breast cancer? Mutations in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become breast cancer cells. DNA makes genes, which have instructions in function and growth of the cells in the body. DNA mutations may be inherited in breast cancer. DNA mutations are more commonly acquired, meaning that those mutations developed at some point of a person’s life. Some environmental factors such as certain food intake, physical activity, hormones, chemical exposure, and radiation exposure may increase the risk of breast cancer. It is not clear how these risk factors interact to form breast cancer. There are different risk factors for breast cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will definitely develop breast cancer.

Risk factors include being a female, increasing in age, a person history of breast conditions, such as atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ, which is LCIS, a personal history of breast cancer and a family history of breast cancer, the presence of an inherited gene mutation associated with breast cancer. Inherited breast cancer gene mutation is most commonly caused by the mutation of BRCA one or BRCA two gene. There are also other less common breast cancer gene mutations, such as ATM, CHECK2, P10, TP53, PALB2, among others. Genetic testing for breast cancer can be done in some women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, such as those with a strong family history or those with triple negative breast cancer. Genetic testing can also be done in men diagnosed with breast cancer. A younger age of the first menstrual period and an older age of menopause also increase the risk of breast cancer. Women who have never been pregnant also have an increased risk of breast cancer. There are also environmental risk factors for breast cancer, such as obesity, hormone replacement therapy, drinking alcohol, radiation exposure, and previous history of chemotherapy.

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