Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Indecision is often worse than wrong action."....Richard Nixon

Some Risk Factors Associated With Breast Cancer and Women

What is a risk factor? Per the Mayo Clinic, a risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you'll get a particular disease. Some risk factors, such as your age, sex and family history, can't be changed, whereas others, including weight, smoking and a poor diet, are under your control.

Today, I would like to explore some of these risk factors associated with breast cancer. It was interesting to discover that having one or more risk factors does not automatically mean that it a precursor to being a candidate for breast cancer. Most women with breast cancer have no known risk factors other than simply being women. In fact, being female is the single greatest risk factor for breast cancer. Although men can develop the disease, it's far more common in women. Here are some factors that may make you more susceptible to breast cancer include:
Age: Your chances of developing breast cancer increase with age. Close to 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than age 50.
A personal history of breast cancer: If you've had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.
Family history: If you have a mother, sister or daughter with breast or ovarian cancer or both, or a male relative with breast cancer, you have a greater chance of also developing breast cancer. In general, the more relatives you have who were diagnosed with breast cancer before reaching menopause, the higher your own risk.
Genetic predispositiona: Between 5 percent and 10 percent of breast cancers are inherited. About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, resulting directly from gene changes (called mutations) inherited from a parent
Early onset of menstrual cycles: If you got your period at a young age, especially before age 12, you may have a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Race: White women are more likely to develop breast cancer than black, Hispanic or Asian women are, but black women are more likely to die of the disease because their cancers are found at a more advanced stage.
First pregnancy at older age: If your first full-term pregnancy occurs after age 30, or you never become pregnant, you have a greater chance of developing breast cancer.
Birth control pills: Use of birth control pills is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Excessive use of alcohol: According to the American Cancer Society, women who drink more than one alcoholic beverage a day have about a 20 percent greater risk of breast cancer than do women who don't drink.
Smoking: Evidence is mixed on the relationship between smoking and breast cancer risk. Some studies show no link between cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke and breast cancer.

According ot the National Cancer Institute, women in their 40s and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women with an elevated risk of breast cancer need to talk to thier doctor about how often and when to get a mammogram. Ladies use this information as a source of reference when asking your health care profession all the questions you have and need answered. The Tuesday's health blog topic of the day is to be used as a source of initial introduction to a health issue or to reinforce what knowledge you may already have. This information should not be used as a medical substitute from the sound and professional advice that your physician can offer you. For further information regarding breast cancer, please consult with your family physician or an oncologist. The above information was retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/.

Personal Note from Tracey ReNissa:

My sister have you had your first mammogram? Check today with your mothers, sisters, aunts, neighbors and co-workers. This simple question, "Have you had a mammogram?" may be the five words to save a woman's life. Please share with us your experience or the experience of a love one to help save a life. Don't allow our indecisions, our busy schedules, our children, our partners, our jobs to dictate or navigate us into making the wrong decisions or wrong actions regarding our health.

Peace and Blessings,

Tracey ReNissa