Breast Cancer Etiology

BRCA gene.

Etiology, is the study of the causes or origin of disease. The word etiology is derived from the Greek word -- aitiologia -- meaning determining the cause of something.

What is the Etiology of Breast Cancer?
Random changes or mutations in the body’s DNA -- the genetic instructions found in cells that all people are born with -- is what causes breast cancer to occur. These changes in DNA can be inherited, meaning they are passed down from one generation to another, or acquired, meaning that there is a change in the DNA of one breast cell for reasons that are unclear and unknown.

Are There Other Things That Cause Breast Cancer?
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. These may include:

Not Having Children:

Women who never become pregnant during their reproductive years have a slightly higher risk for developing breast cancer than those who do become pregnant.

Being Overweight:

Being slightly overweight as well as obesity has been found to be a risk factor in developing breast cancer especially in postmenopausal women.

Not Exercising Enough:

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 since studies have demonstrated that exercise does help reduce breast cancer risk.

Drinking Alcohol:

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.


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