Habits That Can Lead to Breast Cancer

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Update Date May 12, 2020
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Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women nowadays. Do you know that some of your habits can increase the risk of having breast cancer? This article will go deeply into lifestyle-related risk factors that can lead to this dangerous cancer.

Alcohol Consumption

According to the data of epidemiology, alcohol consumption partially causes 4% of the breast cancer (BC) cases in developed countries. It has also been reported there is a 10% increased risk of breast cancer for every additional 10 gram of ethanol contained in the alcohol you drink each day. The link between drinking alcohol and the risk getting breast cancer are clear that the more alcohol you consume, the higher the risk gets.

Smoking

Smoking is the cause of many dangerous diseases and most type of cancers; breast cancer is not an exception. The aromatic hydrocarbons contained in tobacco cause the carcinogenicity. A combination of this hydrocarbon and genetic polymorphisms may leave impacts on the development of breast cancer. The report of the US Surgeon General in 2014 showed that women who smoke in the past are 10% more likely to have breast cancer than who didn’t.

Obesity or overweight

Being obese or overweight after menopause can be the risk factor of getting postmenopausal breast cancer. Before the menopause, your estrogen is mostly produced by your ovaries and there’s only a small amount of fat tissue. However, when your ovaries stop making estrogen or after the menopause, the fat tissue is the main source of woman’s estrogen. The more fat tissue you have at this period of time, the higher level of estrogen you get, which leads to the greater risk of developing breast cancer. Additionally, overweight women usually have higher insulin level in their blood; breast cancer is one of the cancers associated with blood insulin level.

Physical inactivity

Physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for breast cancer. Physical activity can protect women from postmenopausal breast cancer due to its impact on the endogenous steroid hormone metabolism and inflammation. Also, it helps reduce the body fat and improve the immune system. Physical activity is proven to lower the risk of having breast cancer down to 25-30%. According to a study of Women’s Health Initiative, brisk walking for 1¼ to 2½ hours per week can decrease the breast cancer risk by 18%. The relation between being physically active and the risk reduction of postmenopause breast cancer has been clarified, which means physical inactivity can bring you closer to breast cancer.

Using birth control

Many forms of birth control such as oral contraceptives, birth control shot, birth control implant, IUD, skin patch, vaginal ring can link to breast cancer. Scientifically proved, women using birth control are slightly more likely to have breast cancer than those who don’t. Plus, there will be no increased risk of breast cancer after they stop using those methods for 5 or 10 years based on the forms of birth control women use.

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