Breast Cancer & The Environment

Causes of Breast Cancer: Genetic Factors

The causes of breast cancer are not completely understood and are not set in stone. But certain women are more susceptible to developing one form of cancer. Most scientists agree that Breast Cancer is an interaction between genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. 

Genetic Factors:

Between 5-10% of breast cancer is inherited from a family member.

This means that the majority of women that are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have the genetic mutation.

This also means that the role of hormonal and environmental factors –and other unknown factors- is very important.

Research has suggested women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age (less than 45) usually inherited.

Family members often share:

  • Genetic makeup
  • Lifestyle
  • Environmental exposure

·    In breast cancer the change (mutation) occurs mainly in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. They are present on chromosomes 17 and 13 that normally help to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in a BRCA1 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.