Myth: A breast injury can cause breast cancer
Here’s The Truth
Injuries to the breast do not cause cancer.
Injuries caused by car accidents or a blow to the body, for instance, can lead to pain, bruising, or bleeding, which may result in a build-up of blood in the breast known as a hematoma. Additionally, fat necrosis, or scarring of the breast tissue, can occur following an injury, surgery, or biopsy. Generally, these injuries will heal on their own with time; if you are having a mammogram performed following an injury, however, this may entail additional imaging.
Occasionally, a breast cancer diagnosis may follow an injury, simply because the injury drew attention to a lump that had formed previously. However, the injury did not cause the cancer—the cancer was already there. If you know you have scar tissue from a previous injury or have recently suffered a breast injury, let your doctor know prior to your next mammogram.
It is also a good idea to talk with your doctor if you are experiencing breast pain, a recent injury, swelling, change in the skin on or around your breast, or anything that is out of the ordinary for you.
Medically reviewed June 2023