Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women today. The majority of breast cancers occur in women over 65. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related death. According to research, 95 percent of all cancers are due to bad diet and the accumulation of toxins but the exact causes are unknown. However, studies have shown that women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. The best protection against breast cancer is early detection and diagnosis. Breast cancer is more common in developed countries such as Canada, the United States, and some European countries.
About one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. As with other forms of cancer, early detection and prompt treatment of the malignancy of the breast are the keys to the eradication of the disease. Studies have shown that breast-self examination (BSE) has contributed to the earlier detection and improved survival rates. Breast self-examination should be done monthly. More than 90 percent of breast cancers are discovered by patients themselves by chance or by self-examination.
Changes in the breast
Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast. A cancerous tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Sometimes cells in breast change and no longer grow normally. These changes sometimes may lead to non-cancerous or benign breast conditions like a cyst or they can also lead to non-cancerous tumors.
In some cases, changes to the breast cells can cause breast cancer and most often, breast cancer starts in cells that line the ducts. These are the tubes that carry milk from the glands to the nipple. Cancer can also start in the cells of the lobules, which are the groups of glands which make milk. These cells can remain where they have started and has not grown in the surrounding tissues, or they can be invasive where they have grown into surrounding tissues.
Know what is normal for you
Know what is normal for you so that you can notice any change to find cancer early. When cancer is found early, it is often easier to treat. The change might be serious so it’s good to get them checked early before it’s too late. See your doctor for any changes to how you feel or if you have new symptoms.
You should be aware of what is normal for your breasts even if you see your doctor regularly and get regular screening tests. Many women find their own breast cancer by doing self-exam and noticing changes in the look and feel of their breasts.
Common risk factors to know for breast cancer
A risk factor will increase your risk of developing cancer. It could be behavior, substance or a condition. Breast cancer can also develop in women who don’t have any risk factors. Most breast cancers occur in women because their breast cells are exposed to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. According to research, these hormones are linked to breast cancer and will encourage the growth of breast cancers, especially estrogen.
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age and mostly occurs in women between fifty and sixty-nine years. It’s true that breast cancer strikes more women than any other kind of cancer, but your overall risk is probably much lower, and there are different ways to lower the rate still.
The risk factors for breast cancer include:
Age: The chance of getting breast cancer goes up as a woman gets older. Most cases of breast cancer occur in women over sixty years. Tips: keep active! If you want to prevent breast cancer into your old age, continue to move as much as possible. Obesity increases the risk of all kinds of diseases. One hour of brisk walking each week can cut your risk of breast cancer recurrence by up to twenty percent for postmenopausal women, according to research.
A personal history of breast cancer: A woman who had breast cancer in one breast have an increased risk of getting cancer in her other breast. The new breast cancer can develop in the same breast as first cancer or in the other breast as well.
Family history: A woman’s risk of breast cancer is higher if her mother, sister, or daughter had breast cancer. The risk is even higher if her family member got breast cancer before age forty. Sometimes it is not clear whether the family’s pattern of cancer is due to chance, lifestyle factors, genes passed from parents to children, or a combination of these factors.
Reproductive and menstrual history: The older a woman is when she has her first child, the greater her chances of breast cancer, or she begins her first menstrual period before age 12, never having a child, begins menopause after age 55, or taking hormone replacement therapy with estrogen, plus progestin.
Radiation therapy: If someone has had radiation to their chest before age thirty, including women treated with radiation for Hodgkins Lymphoma, tuberculosis or scoliosis, this can also cause a risk.
Simple ways to reduce your risk
There is a lot you can do to reduce your risk of cancer, live a healthy active lifestyle. You can begin with small steps to achieve good health no matter what age you may be. Live smoke-free, be sun safe, have healthy body weight, eat well, exercise, and limit your alcohol consumption. The less alcohol you drink, the more you reduce your risk. If you choose to drink, keep it to less than one drink a day for women and less than two drinks a day for men.
What can you do?
Know how your breasts normally look and feel, Know what breast changes to look for, such as a lump or dimpling in your breast, changes in your nipple or fluid leaking from the nipple, skin changes or redness that do not go away, any other changes in your breasts. If you notice any changes, see your doctor as early as possible. Most changes are not cancerous but you should have them checked early. If you are forty to forty-nine, talk to your doctor about having a mammogram. If you are fifty or older see your doctor and have a mammogram done. The time to go for screening is when you do not have any breast problems but if you are worried about any breast problem, see your doctor. This is very important.
Why get a screening mammogram
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. As women get older the chance of getting breast cancer rises. Mammograms can help to find small breast cancers before there are signs and symptoms. If breast cancer is found at an early stage there is a high rate of successful treatment.
Can breast cancer be prevented
According to research, about half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living. You can reduce your risk of cancer by making positive lifestyle changes to feel better and live longer. Get early screening, see your doctor regularly and most of all, practice monthly self- self-exam for early detection.
Wherever you are in life, there are specific actions you can take to prevent breast cancer and live a balanced healthy life. Early detection saves lives. Hope these breast cancer risk factors will help you to get the help you need if you are experiencing problems. Remember! Knowledge really is the key to embrace the change in your life. Get Help early!
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