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Causes of Breast Cancer

About 40,610 women alone will die just this year from breast cancer. Everyone is at risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the breast. It is a big killer of women. The article breast cancer states that, “breast cancer, cancer that originates in the breast. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.”(Breast cancer. The) Even though it has a high risk in women anyone can get breast cancer. The article mentioned above says, “Although the vast majority of the cases occur in women, some men also get breast cancer.”(Breast cancer. The) There has been some lead way in the prevention of breast cancer and less people dying. The article breast cancer says, “Even allowing for improvements in detection (i.e., the introduction of routine mammography), there has been a long-term gradual increase in the incidence of breast cancer since the early 1970s, but because of the more effective treatment afforded by such early detection, overall mortality began to decrease by the mid-1990s.” (Breast cancer. The) Certain things increase the risk of breast cancer. However, not everyone with breast cancer has these things, and not everyone who has these things has breast cancer. The article mentioned above says, “Epidemiological study has identified certain risk factors that increase the possibility that a woman will get breast cancer, although not all women with breast cancer have these traits, and many women with all of these traits do not develop the disease.” (Breast cancer. The) The risk goes up for older people, if it is in your blood, or if you have a history of breast disease. The article breast cancer says, “Risk factors include age (the incidence of breast cancer is rare in women under 35-most cases occur in women over 60); a history of breast cancer in a close blood relative; and a history of breast cancer or benign proliferative breast disease.” (Breast cancer. The) Other risk factors are hormones, not having children or waiting to have children, and weight. The article mentioned above states, “A high cumulative exposure to female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) appears to increase the risk of some breast cancers. Hormonally related risk factors include early menarch (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), having no children or postponing childbirth, and obesity in women over 50.” (Breast cancer. The)

One way to stop breast cancer early on is to have regular mammograms. The advantage of mammography is that it can find the tumor in its early stages. People whose cancer is found with a mammogram have a higher chance of survival. The article Mammography says, “Mammography is X-ray imaging of the breast to detect breast cancer. The advantage of mammography is that it can detect tumors while they are still small and are most easily treated. Studies have shown that women who received early medical treatment after their breast cancers were found through mammograms had a five-year survival rate approaching ninety percent (depending on the stage at which cancer is detected). By comparison, women whose cancers were not found by mammograms had a five-year survival rate of just sixty percent.”(Mammography) Lots of women will have this disease at one point in their life, but mammograms can help to diagnose it. The article mentioned above says, “The American Cancer Society has estimated that one out of every eight women will develop the disease at some point in her lifetime. Mammography is considered an important tool for diagnosing women at risk for developing breast cancer.”(Mammography) Breast cancer was not always so widely accepted. The article Mammography says, “By the 1960s, mammography was becoming a widely used diagnostic tool. Some critics claimed that the procedure exposed women to dangerous levels of radiation.”(Mammography) This made them change the way they did it to satisfy the critics. The article mentioned above says, “The amount of radiation needed to produce clear pictures of breast tissue was reduced significantly through the development of more sensitive film.”(Mammography)

The best way to tell if you have breast cancer is to feel for it. The article Breast Cancer says, “The primary method of discovering the symptoms of breast cancer is self-examination. Doctors recommend that women learn how to properly examine their breasts and to do so on a regular basis. The purpose is to look for any changes in the breasts.” (Breast Cancer Sick) What the patient should be looking for is a lump. If a lump is found then it should be reported to a doctor immediately. The article mentioned above states, “One warning sign of breast cancer may be a lump in the breast or armpit area. The presence of a lump suggests that medical advice should be sought.”(Breast Cancer Sick) The fact that a lump is there should not have you worried, because it is not always cancerous. The article Breast cancer says, “A lump does not necessarily indicate breast cancer. In many cases, lumps are benign (not cancerous) and can be removed without any lasting harm to the patient.”(Breast Cancer Sick) Another test to see if you have cancer is a biopsy. The take a tissue sample off of the breast, and test it for cancer. The article mentioned above states, “One test is a breast biopsy. The tissue removed during a biopsy can be studied under a microscope. The test allows a doctor to determine whether cells in the sample are cancerous or not.” (Breast Cancer Sick) IF cancer is found then they can see if has spread to other parts of the body yet. The article Breast cancer says, “If cancer is found, tests can also be used to determine if the cancer has metastasized (pronounced muh-TASS-tuh-sized). Metastasis (muh-TASS-tuh-sis) is the process of cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Testing for metastasis involves removal of lymph nodes from the armpit. The presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes suggests that the cancer has begun to spread.” (Breast Cancer Sick) The easiest treatment is to remove the lump and some of the tissue around it with some lymph nodes. The article mentioned above says, “The simplest treatment is a lumpectomy, a procedure in which the cancerous lump is removed from the breast. The surgeon also removes some tissue around the lump and some of the lymph nodes under the arm. Removing healthy tissue around the lump ensures that all of the cancer has been removed. Removing the lymph nodes allows the doctor to test for metastasis.” (Breast Cancer Sick)

Diets can have an effect on you and cause breast cancer. The people with the most fat in their diet have lots of deaths from breast cancer. Cory Servaas writes, “The highest incidence of deaths from breast cancer is found in the most highly developed countries, those in which people’s diets tend to be high in fats and low in fiber.”(Servaas) The death rate from cancer in countries with low fat foods is lower, but as more countries develop a more American diet they are increasing in deaths. Servaas states, “Traditionally, in Japan, only 20 percent of the calories in the daily diet comes from fat versus 40 percent of calories from fat in the United States. Note the chart on page 67 that shows the rate of deaths from breast cancer in Japan to be very low. (Men may be interested to know that the death rate from prostate cancer is also very low in Japan.) This chart, however, was compiled in 1976. It is interesting that the incidence of breast cancer in Japan has increased 250 percent since 1966. During this period many Japanese have shifted to a higher-fat, “Western’ type of diet. Within Japan, the risk of developing breast cancer has been found to be 8.5 times higher among wealthier women who eat meat daily than among poorer women. A similar increase in breast cancer was found in Iceland, where the national diet has shifted from predominantly fish and sheep to more “Western’ fare.”(Servaas) This is because the increase in fats has led to more obesity and it is increasingly harder to find the lumps on breast used to detect breast cancer.

In conclusion breast cancer is caused by age hereditary traits, hormones, and health. An easy way to find it is with a self-examination or mammogram. The easiest way to deal with it is a lumpectomy.


“Breast Cancer.” Sick!, UXL, 2007. Research in Context, Accessed 9 Feb. 2017.

“breast cancer.” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopediaâ„¢, Columbia University Press, 2017. Research in Context, Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.

“Mammography.” UXL Science, UXL, 2008. Research in Context, Accessed 6 Feb. 2017.

SerVaas, Cory. “Prevent breast cancer deaths.” Saturday Evening Post, Mar. 1986, p. 68+. Research in Context, Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.

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