October marks the one and only National Breast Cancer Awareness month which aims to bring people together to raise awareness about the disease.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women, affecting 1 in every 8. The exact cause of breast cancer is not known, but most likely involves many factors including genetic, environmental, nutritional and hormonal.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in Hispanic women and is the second leading cause of death in white, black, Asian and American Indian women.
Due to the high death rate in women, breast cancer often elicits many fears. The best way to protect yourself from breast cancer is to be aware and informed.
The following is a listing of risk factors:
Age & Gender
The most prominent risk factors for breast cancer are age and gender. Men can develop breast cancer, but women are 200 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men. Breast cancer is four hundred times more common in women who are 50 years old as compared to those who are 20 years old. Seventy-five percent of women who develop breast cancer have no risk factors other than age.
A family history of breast cancer will increase the risk of developing breast cancer in a woman by three to five times.
Menstruation & Menopause
Women who started their menstrual periods before age 12, those who delayed menopause until after age 55, and those who had their first pregnancy after age 30 have a mildly increased risk of developing breast cancer (less than two times the normal risk).
Dietary factors such as high-fat diets and alcohol consumption have been implicated as increased risk factors for breast cancer in some studies. More recent studies have disproven high-fat diets as increasing the risk for breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends that a woman should have a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40 years. Between 40 and 50 years of age mammograms are recommended every other year. After age 50 years, yearly mammograms are recommended.
We at Healthy Choice Naturals urge you to do monthly self breast exams and schedule regular mammograms as recommended by your physician. Early detection is vital. The key to breast cancer screening is that it needs to be done routinely. Once is not enough. For more information on Breast Cancer Awareness month visit nationalbreastcancer.org