Cases of breast cancer are on the rise in America and this has opened the eyes of many women to the fact that there is more to the picture when it comes to this type of cancer. Most of us know someone, whether it is a sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, or friend that has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Even more alarming is the fact that if your mother had at one time been diagnosed with breast cancer, that increases your chances of developing it. This may worry some, and that’s a normal response. But, maintaining proper and good breast health is vital to reducing your chances of developing breast cancer. Read on to learn what factors contribute to a woman developing breast cancer and how she can prevent it.
Know Your Breast Cancer Family History
The saying that “knowledge is power” holds true regarding breast cancer. A woman should evaluate her family history, even delving deeper into her genetic records to find out if any other female family members suffered from this type of cancer. Once you know if there is a history, especially if there is with your mother, you should assess your personal risk. You are at an increased risk so proper yearly screening should start immediately depending on your age. Yearly mammograms are great for personal screening as well as daily self-breast examinations.
Some women develop breast cancer because it is inherited by a mutated gene that causes cancer. There isn’t a way to know if you have this cancer gene called BRCA1 and 2, unless you undergo a thorough genetic screening for the gene. Even then if the gene is found, there is only a five to ten percent chance that you will develop cancer.
Some women have developed cancer because they have been exposed to toxins in the air, thus increasing the amount of free radicals in their body. While this is harder to prove and detect, the threat is still very real.
Take Charge of Your Life and Reduce the Risk
Women cannot prevent old age from creeping up on them, but they can prevent certain lifestyle choices from increasing their risks of developing cancer. Being sedentary and obese increases your risks as well as overdoing it with alcoholic beverages. Getting active, losing weight, and reducing your consumption of alcohol will raise the odds in your favor.
Certain factors cannot be avoided, but if your mother had breast cancer, although risks are increased, you may be able to avoid developing it with the right preventative steps.