Many of us have been touched by breast cancer- perhaps through a personal diagnosis- or by a family member, friend, or colleague diagnosed with this disease. Breast cancer, after all, is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and leading cause of cancer death in women. Please join me over the next few Mondays to discuss prevention, screening, and warning signs.
Education is Key for Prevention
Do you know the risk factors associated with an INCREASED risk for breast cancer?
Hormonal factors can influence your risk for breast cancer. Higher levels of endogenous estrogen and hormonal combined estrogen/progesterone replacement has been associated with increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Reproductive factors associated with a higher breast cancer risk include earlier onset of menstruation, not giving birth or having first child later in life, and a late menopause.
Family history and genetic mutations. The risk of breast cancer is affected by the number of first-degree female relatives diagnosed with breast cancer and the age at which they were diagnosed.
The highest breast cancer risk occurs among White women (although it remains he most common cancer among women of every major ethnic/racial group).
Alcohol consumption is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
A higher BMI in postmenopausal women is associated with increased risk for breast cancer.
Do you know how to DECREASE your risk for breast cancer?
Breastfeeding. For every 12 months of breastfeeding there is an approximate 4% reduction in the relative risk of breast cancer.
Increased physical activity at all ages lowers risk.
Dietary factors may modify breast cancer risk although data is limited. Eating a low-fat high fiber diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
This is part ONE of a THREE part series on Breast Cancer Awareness. STAY TUNED. Next week we will review breast cancer screening options and recommendations.
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