What Does Cause Breast Cancer
The exact cause of breast cancer is not known. However, there are some known risk factors. These risk factors include:
- older age
Breast injury or pain does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but a breast injury can increase your risk of:
- increased pain during breastfeeding
- a more difficult diagnosis or trouble with screening results
- significant bleeding caused by hematoma, in the case of a seat belt injury
Injuries can affect how your doctors read your screening results. You should always let your doctor and mammography professionals know about any history of breast injury. This information will be useful in assessing your results.
Explore Common Breast Cancer Myths
We educate nearly 25,000 people each year about breast health and we have noticed some common misconceptions. Part of our goal of educating people about breast cancer is debunking the myths about what does and does not cause breast cancer.
Does breast cancer only occur in older women?
No. While its true that the risk of breast cancer increases as we grow older, breast cancer can occur at almost- any age. According to the National Cancer Institute, the overall lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is 1 in 8. The American Cancer Society has found that women between the ages of 20-24 have the lowest rate of diagnosis, while women aged 75-79 have the highest incidence rate.
If one of my family members has breast cancer, will I definitely get it?
No. The vast majority of women who have breast cancer have no family history. However, your risk is slightly higher than someone who has no family history, and this risk increases with the number of relatives diagnosed and their age at diagnosis . It is important to learn your familys medical history and share this information with your physician.
Is every lump that I discover in my breast cancerous?
No, about 80% of breast lumps are benign or not cancerous. If you discover a lump in your breast or any change in your breast tissue, it is very important that you bring it to the attention of your doctor.
Does wearing an underwire bra, a tight bra, a sports bra, or even wearing a bra to sleep cause breast cancer?
Myth: Wearing A Bra Can Cause Breast Cancerfact: There Is No Evidence That Bras Cause Breast Cancer
From time to time, media coverage and the internet have fueled myths that wearing a bra can increase breast cancer risk.
The theory was that wearing a bra especially an underwire style could restrict the flow of lymph fluid out of the breast, causing toxic substances to build up in the tissue.
However, there is no evidence to support this claim. A 2014 study of roughly 1,500 women with breast cancer found no link between bra-wearing and breast cancer.
The Effects Of Breast Cancer On The Body
At first, breast cancer affects the breast area only. You may notice changes in your breasts themselves. Other symptoms arent so obvious until you detect them during a self-exam.
Sometimes your doctor may also see breast cancer tumors on a mammogram or other imaging machine before you notice symptoms.
Like other cancers, breast cancer is broken down into stages. Stage 0 is the earliest stage with the fewest noticeable symptoms. Stage 4 indicates the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
If breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it may cause symptoms in those particular areas, too. Affected areas may include the:
The early effects of breast cancer can depend on the exact type of breast cancer you have.
Side Effects Of Breast Trauma
Traumatic breast injury is defined as any action or incident that causes damage to your breast or breast tissue. While most breast injuries do not result in permanent damage to the breasts, the result of breast trauma can be troubling to the person. Symptoms like pain, bruising, or a lump in the breast can make you believe you have breast cancer, but these tissue injuries, while uncomfortable, most often just require time for recovery.
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Can Wearing Bra Cause Breast Cancer
The authors suggest that bras can compress the lymphatic system of the breast, causing toxins to become trapped in the breast tissue to cause cancer. The overall consensus among doctors is that neither the type of bra worn nor the tightness of undergarments has any connection to the risk of breast cancer.
Sore Breasts Before Your Period
One symptom of premenstrual syndrome is the swelling and tenderness of the breasts. Pain can range in severity, though its usually on the lower end of the spectrum.
What causes it? During the hormonal changes cause by menstruation, oestrogen activates the breast ducts to enlarge and progesterone triggers the milk glands to swell . How can you ease breast pain before your period? If youre finding that over-the-counter painkillers arent working for this cyclical type of breast pain, you should see your GP for more options. Your doctor might recommend diuretics or oral contraceptives to help ease more severe pre-period breast pain.
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Myth: All Breast Cancer Is Treated Pretty Much The Same Wayfact: Treatment Plans Vary Widely Depending On The Characteristics Of The Cancer And Patient Preferences
I had no idea until I was diagnosed how many types of breast cancer there are, nor did I know anything about the different types of treatment, notes Community member Oceanbum.
Hers is a common experience: If youve never had breast cancer or havent been close to someone who does, theres no real reason to learn the ins and outs of treatment. Many people have some vague idea that breast cancer requires some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and maybe chemotherapy, but they don’t know much beyond that. They might not realize that they can speak to five different people with breast cancer and discover that they have five different treatment plans.
This is because each persons treatment plan really is tailored to his or her needs. So many different factors can come into play when choosing treatments, such as:
- the size, stage, and grade of the cancer, as well as the location
- whether the cancer is known or believed to be linked to an inherited genetic mutation, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2
- whether the cancer tests positive for estrogen or progesterone receptors
- whether the cancer tests positive for extra copies of the HER2 gene
- results of tests that can predict the likelihood of recurrence, such as Oncotype DX or MammaPrint
- patient preferences about avoiding specific side effects or the timing of treatment sessions
To learn more about why treatment plans vary so widely, check out our pages about Planning Your Treatment.
Myth: Breast Cancer Always Causes A Lump You Can Feelfact: Breast Cancer Might Not Cause A Lump Especially When It First Develops
People are sometimes under the impression that breast cancer always causes a lump that can be felt during a self-exam. They might use this as a reason to skip mammograms, thinking theyll be able to feel any change that might indicate a problem. However, breast cancer doesnt always cause a lump. By the time it does, the cancer might have already moved beyond the breast into the lymph nodes. Although performing breast self-exams is certainly a good idea, it isnt a substitute for regular screening with mammography.
There are some other myths about what types of breast lumps are less worrisome, such as: If the lump is painful, it isnt breast cancer, and If you can feel a lump that is smooth, and/or that moves around freely under the skin, its not breast cancer. Any lump or unusual mass that can be felt through the skin needs to be checked out by a healthcare professional. Although most lumps are benign , there is always the possibility of breast cancer.
As Community member Simone RC says, that you only need to worry if your lump is hard, not movable, and not smooth. Every single doctor who felt my always-lumpy breasts said they never would have thought what I felt was suspicious. I noticed the new lump on one of my best old lumps. Smooth, movable, soft, like a grape cut in half lengthwise. Thank goodness my gynecologist took me seriously despite having my annual 3D mammogram completely clear a few months before.
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Sore Breasts And Menopause
Menopause is another process of hormonal change, and this can cause breast pain in the same way your period does. Some women may find that during peri-menopause that their cyclical breast pain worsens, due to erratic hormone levels. Its also worth mentioning that many women have anxiety about breast pain they might feel after menopause, assuming it is a sign of breast cancer. The good news is that only 2%7% of women with non-cyclical breast pain in one spot will go on to receive a cancer diagnosis.
Myth: Carrying Your Cell Phone In Your Bra Can Cause Breast Cancerfact: There Is No Evidence Of A Connection Between Cell Phones And Breast Cancer But The Safety Of Cell Phones Is Still Being Studied
Media reports have raised concerns that carrying a cell phone in your bra might increase breast cancer risk. There have been some cases of younger women developing breast cancer after habitually carrying their cell phones in their bras. In 2013, the Dr. Oz Show further fueled these concerns by warning women never to carry their cell phones in their bras.
The research simply isnt there to support this claim, though. To date, most studies have focused on whether the radiofrequency radiation given off by cell phones can increase the risk of brain tumors. This research hasnt found a link, but the issue is still being studied.
Still, cell phone manufacturers often do recommend keeping your device away from your body as much as possible. Although there is no proven breast cancer link, you may wish to avoid wearing your cellphone in your bra or chest pocket until more research is available.
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Traumatic Breast Injuries: When To Worry When To Wait
Your breast can suffer a physical injury just like any other part of your anatomy. What kind of breast injury is serious enough to see a doctor? And can a breast injury lead to problems down the road even breast cancer?
My little brother punched me in the boob and it hurts a lot. Should I worry?
I was in a fender-bender, and the seatbelt really cut into my chest. Now I have a bruise. Should I see a doctor?
My basketball team was playing a really rough game, and I got elbowed in the breast going up for a rebound. That was a month ago now I feel a lump. What is it?
When you scrape your shin, bruise your thigh, or accidentally cut your finger, you dont really think too much about it, do you? Sure, it hurts but given time, itll heal. Its only a .
But somehow, an injury to your breast feels different. Not physically a bruise is a bruise, and a breast bruise hurts just like one on your kneecap. But mentally emotionally breast injuries can be worrisome.
If youre a younger woman, you might worry about the effect of potential scarring on your love life, or your ability to nurse a baby. If older, youve automatically got breast cancer on your mind: can an injury lead to cancer?
Lets examine what happens when your breast suffers blunt trauma the official medical term for a forceful injury to the breast.
Trauma can occur from a blow. Younger women sometimes contact us here to ask if their pesky little brother punching them is dangerous.
When To See A Doctor For Breast Pain
Most breast injuries will heal over time. The pain will lessen and eventually stop.
However, you should follow up with a medical professional in certain cases. For example, follow up if your breast injury and pain has been caused by a significant trauma, such as a car accident. A doctor can make sure there is no significant bleeding. Also see a doctor if your pain increases or is uncomfortable, especially after breast surgery. If you feel a new lump in your breast that you have never noticed before and dont know the cause of, see your doctor. Its important to have a doctor confirm that a lump is noncancerous, even if it appears after an injury to your breast.
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Do Mobile Phones Cause Breast Cancer
Theres no evidence that radiation from mobile phones has any effect on your risk of developing breast cancer.
Some people worry that radio waves produced and received by mobile phones may be a health risk, especially if they keep their phone in their breast pocket.
However, theres currently no evidence that radio waves from mobile phones cause breast cancer or increase the risk of developing it.
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Can Chemicals In The Environment Cause Breast Cancer
Theres no conclusive evidence that exposure to chemicals in the environment increases your risk of breast cancer.
Lots of studies have looked at the relationship between breast cancer and chemicals in the environment such as pesticides, traffic fumes and plastics, but theres no clear evidence of any links.
It can be very difficult to work out the effects of individual chemicals when we are exposed to low levels of thousands of chemicals during our lifetime.
Some studies have suggested that women who are exposed to chemicals in their jobs, for example in the manufacturing industry, may be at higher risk of breast cancer. But the evidence is weak and more research is needed. Employers are legally required to limit exposure to chemicals that may cause cancer.
Does My Attitudepositive Or Negativedetermine My Risk Of Or Likely Recovery From Cancer
To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that links a persons attitude to his or her risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you have cancer, its normal to feel sad, angry, or discouraged sometimes and positive or upbeat at other times. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Psychological Stress and Cancer.
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What Does A Breast Cyst Look Like
Signs and symptoms of a breast cyst include: A smooth, easily movable round or oval lump that may have smooth edges which typically, though not always, indicates its benign. Nipple discharge that may be clear, yellow, straw colored or dark brown. Breast pain or tenderness in the area of the breast lump.
Can Being Punched In The Boob Cause Breast Cancer
Asked by Melynda Hassett
Can Being Punched In The Boob Cause Breast Cancer?
Is it possible to get breast cancer from being punched? I was punched in my left breast about 20-30 times within three weeks. I’m 15 years old, and some people have told me it can cause cancer, and others have said it can’t. I need a straightforward answer.
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Does Getting Hit In The Testicles Lead To Cancer
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Causes Of Breast Cancer: How Did This Happen
When youre told that you have breast cancer, its natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesnt, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cells DNA.
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Can Cancer Surgery Or A Tumor Biopsy Cause Cancer To Spread In The Body
The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. For example, if they must remove tissue from more than one area of the body, they use different surgical tools for each area. For information about how cancer spreads in the body, see our page on Metastatic Cancer.