Risk Factors and Safety Precautions of Breast Cancer For All Women

Women today are more aware and knowledgeable about the risks of breast cancer than ever before.  This is a good thing especially for women over the age of 40.   As you get older the risks of getting breast cancer increases.  So age is an influential risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

76% of women who develop breast cancer has no other risks factor but age.  Regardless of this fact, all women need to be aware that the risk of developing this disease applies to all women.  Simply put if you are a woman, then you are at risk regardless of age or race.

Risk Factors 

Some risks factors of breast cancer includes early menstruation,  first pregnancy later in life, use of oral contraceptives for long-terms, exposure to high levels of radiation,  hormonal factors, hereditary factors and family history of breast cancer. 

It is so easy to point out the obvious risks factors for developing breast cancer, however those risks factors are not always the case for some women who develop this cancer.  There are women who have always maintained a healthy lifestyle but yet they develop breast cancer.  This is also true for women who have never smoked a day in their lives.

In the United states today, the chances of women developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 of 8.  This is a staggering statistic indeed.

As of 2013 The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed.  About 64,640 new cases of non-invasive in situ (CIS) breast cancer will be found.   (“In situ” refers to the fact that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond its point of origin).  (“CIS” refers to non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).

About 39,620 deaths will result from breast cancer.  That is 1 of 36 women will die from breast cancer this year.  The death rates have been going down, due in part to early detection and better treatment.

Like other forms of cancer, breast cancer is a disease that targets the cells.   There are many different types of breast cancer.  Although there are some types of cancer that are more serious than others, they all have one thing in common.  That one thing is that neither the cause nor cure have not been found yet.

The Five Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage 0 – this is non-invasive breast cancer, such as in situ (CIS).  Cancer cells are present either in the lining of the milk gland or ducts which links the milk gland to the nipples. There is no evidence of cancer cells or non-cancerous cells spreading to the nearby fatty tissues.

Stage I – The cancer has spread to nearby fatty tissue of the breast but not to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.  The tumor is no more than 2 centimeters in diameter.

Stage II – The tumor are larger than Stage I, at about 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter.  Depending on the size, the tumor may have spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage III – This stage is known as locally advanced cancer.   It has spread to the lymph nodes around the breast which are located under the arms or in the chest area above or below the collarbone.

Stage IV – This is the most advanced stage of breast cancer known as metastatic.  The cancer cells has spread from the breast and lymph nodes to other parts of the body. Although treatment can help shrink or control the cancer, most likely it won’t cure this cancer.

Detecting breast cancer early on is a woman’s best chance of surviving this disease.  No matter what your age is, taking advantage of all resources available is your arsenal to staying healthy.

Breast Cancer Tips For Every Woman 

  • Educate yourself about the risk factors of breast cancer.
  • Learn about the symptoms of breast cancer.
  • Learn the proper procedure of self-examination and perform them regularly.
  • Be knowledgeable about the different stages of breast cancer.

What  Women Over 40 Should Do

  • Get an annual mammogram.
  • Learn about increased breast cancer risks associated with aging.

Recent Studies shows that breast cancer in mid-life increase with weight gain, regular drinking of alcohol, and hormone replacement therapy.

What to Look For During Self-Examination

  • Lumps or thickening in the breast.
  • Discharge from the nipples.
  • Scaly, crusty flaky, or inflamed skin on the skin around the breast or the nipples.

If you happen to detect a lump in your breast, do not panic.  Over 80% of lumps are benign (non-cancerous).  Just make sure to see your doctor for a thorough examination and further testing.

These days breast cancer treatment is less radical then in the past and the chances of survival are better when tumors are discovered early on.   Remember that early detection is key.

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