There is no single cause of breast cancer. It is a combination of our genes, environment and lifestyle. Because we are all different, the risk factors and whether we develop breast cancer, varies between people.
Some of the risks we cannot control such as being a woman, aging or a family history of breast cancer. Other risks can be managed (modified) by making some lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet or reducing alcohol consumption.
There are many myths about causes of breast cancer.
Over the course of a person’s life there is a range of risk factors that can affect the chances of developing breast cancer.
Those over which we have no control (non-modifiable) include:
There are lifestyle factors that can increase a risk of developing breast cancer. They are called modifiable risk factors as we have control over them. These include:
While some risk factors you cannot control, you can aim to make healthy lifestyle changes and other risk-reducing strategies to help reduce your risk.
If you are concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer or have breast changes, see your doctor for a discussion and full assessment.
There are lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your risk of breast cancer. These include:
There are many myths about what may cause breast cancer. These range from using deodorants or wearing underwire bras to eating certain foods or sustaining a breast injury. It can be hard to know what to believe as true and what is based on reliable evidence.
It is important that you find accurate information about the stories you may have seen on the internet or heard from others.
If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.
Find resources created with and for those who identify as LGBTIQ+ and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, at all stages of treatment
Resources for Indigenous women diagnosed with breast cancer, including stories from other First Nations women about treatments and support
Tips to ensure people in same-sex relationships have access to the right health professionals and support following a diagnosis
Let’s be Upfront about the extra challenges and different needs of LGBTIQ+ people when diagnosed with breast cancer.
Let’s be upfront about LGBTIQ+ communities that are affected by breast cancer.
Understand the main medical terms and acronyms you may find when you are living with a breast cancer diagnosis or going through treatment
Let’s be Upfront about navigating a breast cancer diagnosis as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
*This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.