There can be some environmental causes too such as “women who received radiation therapy to the upper body for treatment of Hodgkin disease before 30 years of age have a significantly higher rate of breast cancer than the general population” (WebMD Inc., 2009).
1) Genes can be defective in some individuals. Genes which are more prone to cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Naturally, these are “tumor suppressor genes” (American Cancer Society, 2009) because they produce proteins that hinder the growth of cancerous cells, but when they get mutated, they cause the development of cancer. Thus, if a person inherits defective genes from his parents, he is more likely to develop breast cancer. Also, if one has a relative who has cancer of any sort, even then he may be prone to this disease.
2) Growing age is also a risk factor. Older individuals are more prone to this disease. 3) Gender also matters, that is, women have more risk of developing this disease than men. Plant (2000) states that one out of nine women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
3) Corpulence or obesity also plays a role in the development of breast cancer as fat women tend to produce larger quantity of estrogen hormone which, as stated above, increases the risk of breast cancer.
6) Birth control pills are also found to increase the risk of breast cancer to some extent. 7) Lack of exercise is also a big risk factor as properly scheduled exercise hinders the growth of breast cancer. According to Slowick (2009), “a womans exposure to estrogen is lowered by exercise, which affects the menstrual cycle and can inhibit ovulation”. The more a woman ovulates, the greater is the risk of breast cancer.
Breast cancer does not have very specific causes but one must keep in mind the risk factors involved and must try to limit those which are under his control. Early stage breast cancer has no significant symptoms so it is very important to