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HOW To Reduce The Risk Factors Of Contacting Breast Cancer Prevention - Health - Nairaland

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HOW To Reduce The Risk Factors Of Contacting Breast Cancer Prevention by eplanetnews1: 2:53am On Jul 21, 2018
HOW to reduce the risk factors of contacting breast cancer prevention: Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits — such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.


how to prevent breast cancer
BREAST CANCER PREVENTION: The first time you purchased a bra, you likely had one of two thoughts about your breasts: you loved them, or you hated them. Your entire teenage life, your breasts constantly reminded you that you were a woman in training. You wanted them to grow bigger—and probably wished they’d stop growing at some point. Insecurities no doubt got to your head: Why is the left one bigger than the right one? Why aren’t they round like hers? Why are they getting so droopy?

The truth is, no matter how conflicted you are about your breasts, they are part of your identity—which may be why, in part, having breast cancer is one of them most terrifying things to think about. Your breasts can say a lot about your health: they can signal weight gain, fluctuating hormones, and pregnancy.

As for lumps and bumps? You already know that can be a sign of something more sinister: breast cancer. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in U.S. women, with 1 in 8 women being affected by the disease, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

One bit of good news: fewer women are getting and dying from breast cancer than ever before. “Cancer is not an inevitability. Women have more control over the disease than they think,” says Margaret I. Cuomo, MD, author of A World Without Cancer. “Everything we do from the moment we wake—from what we eat and drink to whether or not we exercise and avoid BPA, parabens, and other carcinogenic chemicals—is a factor that can turn on or off the genetic switches in our bodies, including ones that could lead to cancer. The risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, can be significantly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle.”

Unfortunately, the biggest risk for breast cancer is simply being a woman—but taking certain measures can reduce your chances of developing the disease. Here’s where to start.

1: Find out how dense your breasts are
dense breasts cancer risk


Why it’s important: Learning whether you have dense breasts is one of the newest ways to protect yourself. When you have more tissue than fat in your breasts—which is common in younger women—it makes cancer harder to detect on a mammogram: Both tumors and breast tissue show up white, while fat looks dark.

Even more important, having dense breasts makes you six times more likely to develop cancer. Experts aren’t sure why that is, but one possibility is the fact that there is no standardization for measurement of breast density, so doctors’ scores are subjective.

A majority of states have enacted bills that require your health care provider to provider information about your breast density on your mammogram report. Several other states are woking on or have at least introduced similar bills. (Find out where your state stands here.)

Take action: Even if your breast density is low, you still need regular checkups. If it’s high, there’s nothing you can do to lower it (though breast density does tend to decrease with age), but you can protect yourself by asking your doctor about adding an MRI or ultrasound to your screening regimen. You can also switch from traditional mammography to digital. Since it’s higher in contrast, it’s easier for doctors to see abnormalities in dense breast tissue.

2: Get moving
exercise breast cancer
Why it’s important: Exercise seems to protect against breast cancer in several ways. First, it helps control weight. An ACS study found that women who’d gained 21 to 30 pounds since age 18 were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those who hadn’t gained more than 5 pounds.

Blame it on estrogen, which can stimulate cell overgrowth, and thus, breast cancer. Before menopause, most of your estrogen is produced by your ovaries. But after menopause, your ovaries stop pumping out the hormone and most of it becomes fat tissue. The more fat in a woman’s body, the more estrogen.

Second, exercise alters estrogen metabolism, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Translation: for women who exercised regularly, the ratio of ‘good’ estrogens to ‘bad’ DNA-damaging estrogens improved by roughly 25 percent. “Past research has shown that the greater this ratio, the lower a woman’s breast cancer risk. Among women who don’t exercise, the ratio didn’t budge,” says study coauthor Mindy Kurzer, PhD, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Take action: That doesn’t mean you have to start training for an Ironman. In fact, the Women’s Health Initiative found that women who walked briskly for 1 hour and 25 minutes to 2.5 hours had an 18 percent less risk of breast cancer than women who were inactive. To protect yourself from breast cancer—and all cancers—the ACS recommends aiming for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly, which breaks down to 30 minutes 5 days a week.

3: Know your family cancer history—even your dad’s
family history breast cancer BRCA gene
Why it’s important: About 5 to 10 percent of all cancers, including breast cancer, are hereditary, passed from one generation to the next via a variety of mutated genes. Your father’s family counts as much as your mother’s.

Look at your family’s history of other kinds of cancer, too. Men can carry some of the same abnormal genes, such as BRCA1 and 2, that up the risk of not only breast cancer, but also ovarian cancer in women, pancreatic cancer in men and women, and early prostate and testicular cancers in men. Research shows that roughly 72 percent of women who inherit a BRCA1 mutation and 69 percent who get a BRCA 2 mutation will develop breast cancer by the time they hit 80, the National Cancer Institute says.

Multiple diagnoses on either side of your family can be a clue to a hereditary link, so be sure to take a look at second- and third-degree relatives, too (aka, your aunts, uncles, cousins, and more).

Take action: If your family history worries you, enlist the help of a genetics expert. After dance instructor Suzanne Citere, of Lighthouse Point, FL, examined her family history (her mother died young from breast cancer, while her maternal grandfather and grandmother, along with two of her mother’s siblings all died from different cancers), she called a genetic counselor, who recommended testing. Citere found out that she did indeed carry a BRCA2 mutation and made the tough decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy.

“Genetics is a very complicated topic, and genetic counselors can not only provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding your risk, but also help you decide whether or not genetic testing is right for you,” says Sue Friedman, founder and director of FORCE, a national support network for people at high risk of breast and ovarian cancers. “Then, if it is, they can also help you really understand your test results and your options based on them.” (Contact the National Society of Genetic Counselors to find an expert in your area.)

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Re: HOW To Reduce The Risk Factors Of Contacting Breast Cancer Prevention by johnjay4u2u(m): 7:40am On Jul 21, 2018

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