Can a physical blow or injury cause cancer?

A runner helping another injured runner

The claim

There is a link between physical trauma to the breast and breast cancer.
A runner helping another injured runner

The truth

There is no scientific evidence that bumping or bruising your breast increases the risk of breast cancer.

One study suggested a link between breast injury and breast cancer, but it was very small and there were many problems with how it was conducted. Other studies have not had the same results.

Injuries cannot cause cancer, but an injury may lead to finding cancer in the injured area. For example, a bone that is weak from a cancerous tumour is more likely to break – and treating the broken bone could lead to the discovery of the cancer.

If you have injured your breast and are concerned or uncomfortable, talk to your doctor.

The Canadian Cancer Society is committed to sharing important information about cancer risk to Canadians and will continue to monitor research in this area.

Learn more about finding cancer early.