Breast Cancer – 10 Must Know Risk Factors
Breast cancer is the most threatening disease that affects women’s health today, worldwide. It is a well known fact that now-a-days women are prone to cancers due to lifestyle changes. Recent global studies show that each year, around half a million women die from this disease. The study further shows a figure that half a million women die due to cervical cancer as well. It is necessary to be aware of the preventive measures to keep the risks away.
Sometimes the fear of this disease is exaggerated. This may stop most of the women either from going to doctors for a checkup or certain women might decide fast about mastectomy (removal of breast permanently).
Women must have a proper understanding about this condition. Breast cancer is not a death sentence; there are lot of treatment options for cure.
Women Must Know Top 10 Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Getting Older: Increasing age (along with earlier history) is a risk factor for breast cancer. Women nearing to age 65 are most likely prone to this risk. When compared to younger women, the risk of recurrence is also higher in old age.
Genes/Hereditary Factor: Everyone has BRCA1 and BRCA2 in their body. BRCA1 – BReast CAncer gene one and BRCA2 – BReast CAncer gene two. The function of these genes are to repair cell damages if any in your breast and help in growth of breast cells normally. However, if these gene act abnormally due to hereditary factors there is a risk of this disease.
Personal History of Disease: If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, there are more possibilities to develop cancer on the other breast or on the same breast may be in a different spot. The risk of the new cancer could be different from the previous one.
Race/Ethnicity: When compared with African-American or Asian women, white women have a slightly high risk of breast cancer. However, once it occurs, African-Americans have a greater risk of aggressive growth of cancer. There have been more advanced-stages of breast cancer diagnosed in young Afro-American & Asian women.
Menstruation and Menopause: Women who start menstruation before the age of 12 have chances of breast cancer in later age. Similarly, women who have menopause after the age of 55 are prone to this cancer. This is due to the hormonal interactions inside and outside of your body.
Pregnancy History: Late pregnancy or women who are not having children have the risk of breast cancer. Women who had full-term pregnancy before age 30 are less prone when compared to those who give birth after 30. Breastfeeding lowers this risk especially for those who breastfeed more than 1 year.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Too much alcohol consumption may even lead to early breast cancer. Alcohol intake may lead to increase in estrogen and other hormone levels. In addition, alcohol can damage the DNA cells increasing the chances of this cancer.
Smoking: Though smoking cause many other diseases, it also attributes to the chance of breast cancer in younger and pre-menopausal women. Smoking also develops complications in the treatment of breast cancer by damaging the lungs during radiation therapy. It will also delay the healing after breast reconstruction or surgery.
Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D may plays the vital role in controlling normal breast cell growth. Vitamin D also helps to stop the growth of breast cancer cells. Research shows that women with low vitamin D levels have a higher risk.
Obesity/Overweight: Obese or overweight women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In addition to it obesity also poses the risk of its reccurence. This is due to more fat cells in a obese body. Fat cells produce more estrogen (being overweight will produce extra estrogen) which will develop the hormonal complications leading the risk of cancer in breasts.
Apart from these major conditions there are other habits which may contribute to the risk factor. Lack of exercise, using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), previous history of radiation to your chest for some other treatment, etc. Being a women you must educate yourself understanding the risk factors thoroughly. Try avoiding the risk factors that might lead you to complications in your breast health.
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