Development of Breast Cancer
We still don’t know the specific cause of breast cancer or why one person is diagnosed over another. We do however know some risk factors and how cancer begins.
To put it as simply, cancer is caused by damage to a cell’s DNA. Once the DNA is damaged, the cell becomes mutated. Since cells are the building blocks of tissue, you can imagine how mutated cells can cause major complications. Cell build up can occur which often leads to a mass of tissue known as a tumor. When a malignant tumor develops in the breast, it needs to be treated as quickly as possible before any cells break away from the tumor and spread to other tissue.
Risk Factors Within Your Control
Maintaining the minimum recommended amount of physical activity vs living a sedentary lifestyle.
Consistently maintaining a healthy weight vs becoming overweight or obese.
Some forms of hormone replacement therapy and certain birth controls have been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Women having a child after the age of 30 or never having a full-term pregnancy, can increase the risk of breast cancers.
Studies show the more alcohol you consume, the more your risk of developing breast cancer increases.
Risk Factors Beyond
The risk of developing breast cancer increases in age; the majority of women are diagnosed with breast cancer after the age of 50.
Mutations of certain genes inherited from your ancestors can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Dense Breast Tissue
Dense breasts have more tissues which can lead to an increased risk and make it difficult to detect tumors.
If you have a mother, sister, daughter, or multiple family members diagnosed with breast cancer, you are at an increased risk.
Women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer are at a higher risk to be diagnosed a second time.
According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate is 99% when breast cancer is detected early.
Early detection methods include:
– Completing your own monthly breast exams
– Controlling risk factors within your control
– Staying aware and monitoring any early warning signs
– Scheduling and staying up to date on all your clinical breast exams and mammogram screenings
– Talking to your doctor and documenting any known risk factors out of your control which may require more frequent exams
Make it a priority to learn more about breast cancer, control your risks, and regularly complete all required checkups including self-exams.
Make a commitment this October to honor breast cancer all year long and help educate your friends and family members as well.
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