Reproductive Factors and Breast Cancer Risk

Document Type : Mini Review


Department of Pharmacy Practice, Balaji Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Telangana, India


A neoplasm, also referred to as a tumor, is an abnormal mass of tissue, the growth of which exceeds and is uncoordinated with that of normal tissue and remains in the same excessive manner even after removal of the stimuli which evoked the changes. Tumors may be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors remain localized and are amenable to surgical removal, whereas malignant tumors, i.e. cancerous ones, adhere to any part in an obstinate manner, often invade surrounding tissue, and metastasize to distinct sites. Breast cancer occupies second place as the most occurring cancer in terms of incidence. Breast cancer is a heterogenous cancer, mostly linked with reproductive and hormonal factors in its occurrence. Nulliparous, younger age at menarche, early age pregnancy, older age at first live birth, late menopause, prolonged interval between menarche and first pregnancy, repeated abortions, first pregnancy after 35 years, and no/less breastfeeding are major risk factors for breast malignancies. Recent studies have shown that the implications of reproductive and hormonal factors in patients with breast cancer are associated mostly with BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) gene mutations.