Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer has become a major concern for American women.  The American Cancer Society now projects that one out of 8 women will have breast cancer during their lifetime.  Risk factors for breast cancer include:

  •  Being a female.
  • Certain inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2)
  • One or more 1st degree relatives with breast cancer
  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Breast tissue density
  • Biopsy confirmed atypical hyperplasia
  • High dose radiation to the chest
  • High bone density (postmenopausal)
  • Late age at first full term pregnancy
  • Early menarche (<12 years)
  • Late menopause (>55 years)
  • No full term pregnancies
  • Never breastfed a child
  • Oral contraceptive use
  • Long term use of hormone replacement theraphy.
  • Obesity (postmenopausal)
  • History of endometrium, ovary, or colon cancer
  • Regular alcohol consumption

Genetic breast cancer accounts for only 25% of all breast cancer cases.  This leaves 75% of breast cancer caused by environmental factors / lifestyle.  The primary cause of breast disease and breast cancer is estrogen dominance.  Estrogen dominance is often caused by environmental factors such as:

  • Growth hormones in meat
  • Chemicals in hygiene products, household cleaning products, and plastics
  • Herbicides used to grow our food

Breast cancer does not just happen overnight.  Breast cancer can take between five to twenty years to form in the breast.  With this in mind, earlier detection of breast tissue changes through Thermography screening allows time for true prevention through lifestyle changes including hormonal balancing, nutrition, exercise, and lymphatic massage.

Risk Factors: Bras, burn Them or Wear Them

Another Fibrocystic, Cystic, and Breast cancer risk factor we need to be aware of is the risk of wearing underwire bras and bras in general. A study done by medical anthropologists Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer showed a 125 fold increase breast cancer risk for women who wear bras longer than 24 hours a day.  Finding showed the following:

  • Women who wore bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Women who wore bras more than 12 hours per day, but not to bed, had a 1 out of 7 risk.
  • Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk
  • Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer.

Reference:  Book:  DRESSED TO KILL:  The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, By:  Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer.

Why does wearing a bra raise our risks of developing Fibrocystic Breasts, Cystic Breasts, and Breast Cancer?

The answer is simple, because it causes a back up of lymphatic fluid in our breasts.  The lymph system of our body is one of the body’s means of removing toxins from our systems.  Wearing a bra, especially an underwire bra, does not allow the lymphatic system to flow, trapping the fluid in our breasts.  This entrapment of lymph fluid can cause breast swelling, breast pain, and breast lumps.

What you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk from bras:

  • Wear your bra 8 hours a day or less.
  • Do not wear a tight fitting bra.
  • Never wear a bra to bed.
  • Stay away from underwire bras, they have a tendency to back up the lymphatic in the breasts more so than a comfortably fitting non underwire bra.
  • After wearing a bra for an extended length of time, do a lymphatic breast massage.  (see Breast Health Tips)