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If you have performed a breast cancer risk assessment and discovered you are more than 30% likely than the average woman to get breast cancer, what should your next step be? Your first option should be to remain calm and not panic. Secondly, consider the opposite view that you have a 70% chance of not being diagnosed with breast cancer. Your third step should then be to modify your lifestyle by reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, or increasing your daily exercise.
As always, it is also a good idea to discuss with your doctor any other things you can do to help reduce your chances of getting breast cancer. So instead of asking, "What causes breast cancer?" start asking, "What prevents breast cancer?"
Even though we live in a world in which there are numerous things being attributed to cancer, there are still some causes of breast cancer that have remained unproven.
Society has held the belief that breast implants, abortion, underwire bras, and antiperspirants can all lead to someone developing breast cancer. However, no firm scientific study has been conducted on these unproven factors. Therefore, until scientists can answer the question, "What causes breast cancer?" without any doubts, there is certainly no reason to go without deodorant or bid farewell to your favorite push-up bra.
There are many lifestyle choices you can make to decrease your risk of developing breast cancer. These risk factors include diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, waiting until later to have children, and breastfeeding.
Like so many other illnesses, a diet low in fat coupled with exercise can help reduce your risk for developing breast cancer. Women who drank only one glass of alcohol a day also had a lower risk.
Younger women who had children before age 30 years of age were found to lessen their risk of getting breast cancer. However, some studies have also shown that women who breastfeed, also had a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
Therefore by exercising, eating right, starting a family, and abstaining from excessive use of alcohol, you can improve your odds against being diagnosed with breast cancer.
What causes breast cancer? Regardless of the medical technology we possess, scientists have not been able to distinguish a single cause for breast cancer. However, breast cancer is now discussed in terms of risk factors as opposed to a single cause. Having a risk factor for breast cancer increases the likelihood of developing this disease, as opposed to breast cancer being attributed to a single cause. Therefore, if you are concerned about breast cancer, think in terms of the risk factors involved, rather than a specific cause. It's not possible to identify and remove the causes of breast cancer, but it's certainly possible to control some of these risk factors.
There are many risk factors associated with breast cancer and other than the stated risk factors, some women wonder if other factors such as a previous induced abortion can increase their risk of developing breast cancer.
From the controlled studies done on these two factors, scientists have yet to develop concrete information that a previous abortion is a risk factor for developing breast cancer later in life.
However, if you have experienced an abortion or considering one, speaking to your physician should help with any concerns you might have.
What causes breast cancer? There are some risk factors for breast cancer that cannot be prevented by lifestyle changes. These risk factors include experiencing an early menstrual period or entering menopause a later age than the average woman. Age plays an important factor in developing breast cancer, as someone over 50 years of age, would be more likely to be diagnosed. Even though it is possible for a man to be diagnosed with breast cancer, it is more common in women. Within the last decade, it has been shown that genetics and family history have played an important risk factor in developing breast cancer. Women with mutations in the BRCA genes, or blood relative such as mother, daughter, or sister who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, are at risk for developing breast cancer. The risk also seems to be greater for Caucasians rather than for people of African American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American descent. Breast cancer risk increases with age. You cannot change these risks factors if they affect you, but knowing them should make you more diligent about getting the appropriate screening and consultation for breast cancer. What causes breast cancer? No one knows all the answers but there are certainly many ways to prevent it.
Knowing your risk of breast cancer will not prevent it from happening. However, many women still would like to know their individual level of risk. There are tools available to determine what your risk might be, such as the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (http://bcra.nci.nih.gov/brc) and the Halls Detailed Breast Cancer Risk Calculator (http://www.halls.md/breast/risk.htm). After answering a few key questions, your risk will be determined as a percentage. In order to fully understand this percentage, you should make an appointment with your physician. Remember that your risk level does not tell you whether you will or will not get breast cancer. A woman with very low risk can still develop breast cancer, whereas a woman with a relatively high risk might not. All women should take breast cancer seriously, regardless of risk.
Many women who experience the symptoms of menopause consider hormone replacement therapy. However, when using estrogens and progesterone to treat the symptoms of menopause, a woman's risk of developing breast cancer also increases.
Studies have shown that not only has long term HRT increased the risk of developing breast cancer, but it has also reduced the effectiveness of mammograms used in the detection of breast cancer. Anyone who has been on hormone replacement therapy for five years, should address their concern about this breast cancer hormone replacement risk factor.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|