In the modern day and age, we have seen a rise in a variety of different cancers, especially breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer rates have increased significantly from 1975-2012. There are a multitude of different factors that could potentially be contributing to this increase; however, there are known preventative measures that can be utilized. It is crucial to understand what breast cancer really is and how you can take preventative measures against it. Cancer cells are defined as an “uncontrollably dividing cell.” Cancer cells typically form when there is a mutation in the tumor suppression gene during cell replication. These cells can then form masses, called tumors. Women are statistically significantly more prone to being diagnosed with breast cancer than men, around 1 in 8 women compared to about 1 in 1,000 men. So, after knowing a little bit about cancer; what should you do to attempt to reduce the risk of getting this disease? According to local oncologist, Dr. Vir K Nanda, MD, “It is essential to annually have mammograms conducted, especially in women over the age of 40-45.” If you have a family history of breast cancer, it is important to see a physician to discuss genetic counseling. When breast cancer is in its earlier stages, it usually does not express many symptoms, especially when the tumor is miniscule. This is another reason why screening is so vital, because breast cancer is most easily treatable in its earlier stages. Any noticeable change in the breast should be assessed and evaluated by a physician immediately. Besides regular screening, there are some minor lifestyle changes you can adhere to, to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Controlling your weight is crucial to reducing your risk of breast cancer, there have been numerous studies linking obesity with cancer, especially after menopause. Alcohol has been shown to increase your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer, so it is crucial to limit how much you drink. There have also been linkages between smoking and breast cancer, so it is important to begin the process to quitting smoking completely. Breast feeding has been shown to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, because the longer you breast feed, the greater protective effect your body will have. Essentially, it is very important to live a healthy lifestyle, and be proactive in seeking medical advice and medical help when necessary. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, do NOT lose hope; there are many wonderful support groups available through the American Cancer Society, and different survivors who can relate with you and explain their journey. You are not alone!
If you would like more information about breast cancer, please visit: www.cancer.org