One in six breast cancers occur in women aged 40-49. The incidence of breast cancer increases steadily with age. Each year approximately 1 woman in 1000 will be diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40, increasing to approximately 1.1/1000 at age 41, 1.2/1000 by age 43, etc. This increases to 2/1000 by age 50, 2.1/1000 by age 51, up to 3/1000 by age 60 and so on.
But what is breast cancer and how do people get it?
Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors in the breast grow and start to affect other tissues in the body. There is still no clear indications how tumors are created but what is often observed is that cancerous cells usually comes from ducts or glands.
Although women’s health organizations advise women to massage the breast daily and to feel for any lumps, it may be a long time before a cancerous cell get big enough for us to feel it. By that time, it may already be too late. Doctors make use of mammograms for their diagnosis.
Who is at risk for Breast Cancer?
All women are actually at risk, with the risk increasing with the presence of some risk factors that are already part of the natural cycle, for example, aging. Family history of breast cancer can also significantly affect the prognosis as heredity has been found to play a role. Women who got their periods before they were 12 years old and those who never had or had children after 30 years old are also more likely to develop breast cancer.
There are also risk factors that medical science can help alter such as hormonal problems through replacement therapies. Women are also advised to decrease their consumption of alcoholic drinks, exercise every day and decrease the use of birth control pills. Breastfeeding has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer development.
How to Prevent Breast Cancer?
Although there are some factors that women can avoid to prevent breast cancer from developing, cause and effect relationships between these factors and breast cancer is still debatable.
Another avenue women can go to is Vitamin A, which some studies show to be effective in decreasing the risk. Still, nothing has been proven yet. Other things that are being linked to the breast cancer fight are phytoestrogens, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.
It is also important that women know the beginnings of breast cancer. Here are some of the signs that they should watch out for.
Lumps in the breast and in the underarms
Scaling of the skin of the breast and of the nipple
Redness in the skin of the breast and of the nipple
Changes in the size of their breasts
Discharges from the nipple
If any of these signs are observed, it is best to consult a specialist so that you can get the proper care.
Bottom Line is..
Until something concrete is found in research, the only thing that women can do to ensure that they are safe from breast cancer is early detection. This can be done through daily self-examinations as well as annual check ups and mammogram tests done every year after the age of 40.
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