No one, regardless of age, profession, skin color or socio-economic status, is safe from cancer. In fact, people can find it difficult to say that no member of their family and / or circle of friends has been diagnosed with cancer at any given time.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there were 18.1 million new cases of cancer worldwide in 2018. In women, excluding skin cancer other than melanoma, no cancer was more prevalent in the body. world than breast cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund reports that in 2018, breast cancer accounted for 25.4% of all new cancer diagnoses in women. This figure is almost three times higher than the percentage of colorectal cancer cases, which was the second highest number of new cancer cases diagnosed in women in 2018. It is understandable to be afraid of such figures, which can give the impression that a diagnosis of breast cancer is almost inevitable. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that not all breast cancer risk factors are set in stone.
Although age and family history, two known risk factors for breast cancer, may be beyond a woman’s control, she may still have some control over other risk factors.
• Physical activity. The CDC notes that women who are not physically active have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who are. The Office on Women’s Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, notes that women should get two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week or 75 minutes of aerobic activity d vigorous intensity every week. This should be accompanied by muscle building activities two or more days each week. Carrying extra weight can make getting around more difficult, which is why the Office on Women’s Health urges tall women to start slow if it has been a while since they last exercised. Additionally, aging women can ask their doctor for advice on which exercise programs they should or should not avoid.
• Taking hormones. The CDC notes that hormone replacement therapy that includes both estrogen and progesterone taken during menopause may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Additionally, the CDC reports that oral contraceptives, such as birth control pills, have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Women can talk to their doctor about how to control hormone-related risk factors for breast cancer.
• Alcohol consumption. Studies have shown that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the higher her risk of breast cancer. Smoking, exposure to chemicals that cause cancer, and hormonal changes related to night work are additional risk factors for breast cancer that women may be able to control.
Breast cancer affects millions of women around the world every year. Although this can make you feel helpless, women should know that many risk factors for breast cancer are under their control.
Did you know?
A 2017 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found that about a third of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the United States live at least five years after diagnosis.
Also known as stage IV breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of the disease. Metastatic breast cancer refers to breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body. Patients diagnosed with breast cancer should also be aware that improved treatments may increase their chances of surviving a diagnosis, even a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society notes that survival rates are based on women diagnosed and treated at least five years earlier.
Since these survival rates were documented, treatments could have progressed even further, potentially improving five-year survival rates for metastatic breast cancer.
Story courtesy of Metro Creative Connection