The month of October has been recognized globally as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” or “Pink Month”. The Pink Month is designated to educate those concerned about the disease.
As per the W.H.O., breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, and the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
This is when knowing one’s risk factors and early detection is of most importance.
What are some of the risk factors associated with Breast Cancer ?
Risk Factors You Cannot Change:
- • Age: The risk for breast cancer increases with age, especially for women over 50 years of age.
- • Genetic mutations.: Certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
- • Reproductive history. Starting menstrual periods before age 12 and menopause after age 55 years increases risk of breast cancer
- • Having dense breasts
- • Personal history of breast cancer : Women who have had breast cancer are more likely to get breast cancer a second time.
- • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer: especially if she has a mother, sister, or daughter (first-degree relative) with breast cancer.
- • Previous treatment using radiation therapy.
Risk Factors You Can Change:
- • Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- • Being overweight or having obesity after menopause.
- • Taking hormones
- • Smoking and Drinking alcohol
What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?
- • Keep a healthy weight.
- • Be physically active.
- • Avoid alcohol or drink alcohol in moderation, avoid smoking .
- • If you are taking, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks.
- • Breastfeed your child, if possible.
- • If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.
Breast cancer screening :
Self Breast Exams, Regular Breast Exams (an annual exam by your doctor) and yearly to two yearly mammograms are important tools in breast cancer detection . Other diagnostic tools include Breast Ultrasound and Breast MRI.
Talk to your Doctor today to learn more!
By Dr. Anahita Kaul – G.P. (General Medicine) – California Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Center