Women get breast cancer by mutations or faulty instructions found within the DNA in the cells of the body. While the majority of these DNA gene mutations are acquired, meaning that for some unknown reason one breast cell goes awry and becomes cancerous, other gene mutations are inherited, meaning they are passed down from one generation to another.
While the main cause of breast cancer is due to alterations in DNA, there are some other lifestyle-related risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Some of these include:
According to the American Cancer Society, women who drink between two and five alcoholic beverages per day have a 1.5 times higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who drink no alcohol each day.
Being obese or even overweight has been found to increase breast cancer risk especially in older women following menopause.
Not Exercising Enough
Studies have shown that exercise does help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that women conduct anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day for at least five days a week.
Not Having Children
Women who never become pregnant have a slightly higher risk for developing breast cancer than those who do become pregnant.