Breast cancer is considered to be the most common type of cancer among all.
Almost 1.4 million people every year are diagnosed with the disease. The disease’s age incidence rate is 4 times higher in high-income countries compared to low-income countries.
A strong connection between age-standardization and income per capita was also observed in a number of previous researches.
However, breast cancer is also increasing rapidly in low and middle-income countries. The primary reasons for the higher incidence in these areas are; the lack of knowledge and awareness among women.
Women in these regions generally ignore any precautions from the disease. Also, the front line workers in these regions fail to diagnose the disease at an early stage.
The prevalence and the risk factor of the disease have increased dramatically in a decade. Let’s discuss some of the risk factors and precautions to save women from breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Prevalence
In the UK, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer. Around half a million women died due to breast cancer in 2012.
The prevalence of breast cancer has increased by 11.7% since the previous decade. The majority of the women suffering from the disease were between the ages of 60-64 years.
It is predicted that during the era of 2016 to 2025, the prevalence rate will be in between 23.1% to 60.7% in women above the age of 50 years.
However, in women below the age of 50, this prevalence will be in between 70.7% to 130.6%.
Though the death rate is high, the survival rate in developed countries increases and has reached almost 84%. The basic reason for the increased survival rate is the precautions and early detection.
Let’s shed some light on the basic reasons and risk factors contributing in increasing the prevalence rate of the disease.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
The risk factors refer to any habit or symptom that can increase your potential of developing the disease.
Having few or even all of the features does not confirm that you will develop the disease. Many women who do develop cancer do not have any risk factor.
This is why these factors are named ‘Risk Factors’. The factors are;
- Women are at a much higher risk to develop breast cancer in contrary to men.
- The increasing ages of women are also the cause of breast cancer.
- The family or personal history of breast cancer can also serve as a risk factor.
- Your inherited gene can be the risk of cancer.
- Exposure to radiation, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption are also risky.
- Never being pregnant, having a first child after 30 years, and beginning menopause at an older age are the major contributor to the list.
How to be Safe?
The higher incidence rate and prevalence of the diseases have increased the risk of breast cancer among women. The tough schedule and hectic working routines is also a contributing factor. Though there are many safety precautions that can be adopted to decrease the risk of breast cancer, see the following precautions.
1. Get a Mammogram
A mammogram is an X-ray of your breast to detect the symptoms of breast cancer. The specialist recommends it because it tends to detect cancer 3 years earlier than any other screening.
The tomography, also known as a 3D mammogram, is recommended to increase the sensitivity of screening.
For women having a family history or have any of the above-mentioned risk factors than getting a mammogram is a must.
2. Have a Clinical Breast Examination
Along with the mammogram having a clinical breast examination is also necessary. The mammogram does not have 100% efficiency.
Therefore, along with the mammogram, a clinical breast examination is also required.
Consult your gynecologist and get your breasts examined as a safety precaution even if you do not have any disease symptoms.
In 50% of the cases, clinical breast examination diagnoses breast cancer.
3. Exercise Regularly
Being physically active is considered the most effective daily routine activity in reducing cancer chances. It can reduce the potential of the disease by 10-20%.
Regular physical activity can maintain weight and stop leaning down the breast, which is the main cause of breast cancer.
Also, the lower estrogen level and strengthening the immune system diminishes breast cancer chances. It is recommended to have 45 minutes of exercise 5 times a week.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol can stimulate the level of estrogen and other hormones that are positive in causing breast cancer.
It also diminishes the DNA in the cells that can stimulate abnormal cell growth. In a comparison of the non-alcoholic women, the alcoholic women have a 15% higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Women who consume alcohol daily increase the risk by ten times.
5. Eat Healthily
Diet plays a controversial role in promoting overall health. Dietary control is considered to be the best preventive method for reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Include lots of vegetable in your diet. White meat is recommended over red meat; though, it should not be more than 50 gm.
Carbs generally found in pasta, bread, potatoes, and rice should be completely exempted from the diet.
6. Take a Walk in Open Air
Walking can have a miraculous effect on your body.
Walking 2-3 hours/weekly in an open year can increase overall health performance.
It is also considered effective in increasing mental health and achieving mental peace.
The quality time spends in an open year can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 14%.
7. Don’t Smoke
We all have heard that smoking is harmful to health. Smokers and non-smokers are equally aware of the reduction in the quality of life that smoking causes.
Smoking increases the risk of stroke, heart diseases, and 15 types of cancer, including breast cancer. Women who are smokers have a 28% or higher risk of breast cancer than non-smokers.
8. Breastfeeding Is Also an Option
Breastfeeding is equally beneficial for mother and child. During lactating, a woman faces hormonal changes that reduce estrogen exposure, thus lowering the chances of cancer.
It also shed the breast tissue; this shedding reduces the stacking and pilling of older tissues lowering the risk of disease.
Breastfeeding for six months would be enough to reduce the chances of disease.
9. You Can’t Use Birth Control Pills
Taking birth control pills can be an increased risk of breast cancer. These medicines contain a higher level of estrogen and progesterone level that increases the risk of the disease.
The risk of the disease is directly proportional to the increasing age. Though, the risk can be reduced immediately after quitting pills.
If you smoke or are an alcoholic, then the risk is multiplied. Therefore, it is recommended not to take birth control pills after a certain time.
10. Say No to Post-Menopausal Hormones
The post-menopausal hormones have mixed effect on women health. These hormones are found to be effective in reducing the risk of many diseases.
Though, at the same time, it is considered the reason for causing many diseases like breast cancer. Therefore, it is recommended by the female assignment writers to take these hormones for the shortest period with a gynecologist’s consult.
11. Precautionary Drugs
Though it is not generally recommended, drugs can also be effective in reducing breast cancer chances. If you want to be completely dependent upon medicines and artificial hormone stimulation, then Tamoxifen and Raloxifene can be effective.
The FDA approves these two drugs as effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Despite their efficiency and recommendation by the regulatory authorities, I will not recommend the drug intake as a precaution. It’s better to adopt natural ways as a safety precaution.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer type across the globe. The disease is generally associated with women, but men can also develop the disease. Though the proportionality is very low, it can be developed in men.
The advancements in medical technology can treat the disease, but sufferings cannot be reduced. Therefore, it is suggested to take safety precautions prior to reduce the risk of developing cancer.