Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer – Risk Factors and Prevention

Among women, the second most common form of cancer is breast cancer. An estimate of 28.5 percent of cancers in women are diagnosed as breast cancer, according to statistics from National Cancer Institute (NCI). A woman’s chances of getting breast cancer in her lifetime is 13%.

Breast Cancer can also be diagnosed in men, although it is rarely occurring. According to estimates, by 2021, about 2250 men will be diagnosed and 560 will lose their lives to the disease. In males, the overall risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 1 in 833. 

Risk Factors 

There are several factors that play a role in the development of breast cancer, but having any of these does not mean you will definitely get it. Some risk factors can’t be changed, such as family history. Other risk factors are potentially controllable, for example quitting smoking if you smoke. Here are a list of things than could possibly increase your chances:

  • Age – as you grow older your breast cancer risk increases. The most common age to be diagnosed with breast cancer is over 55.
  • Drinking Alcohol – It’s possible for alcohol to elevate estrogen levels in the body, disrupting hormone receptors. Additionally, alcohol has been demonstrated to cause damage to our cells’ DNA, which can be harmful in many ways. Women who consume three alcoholic beverages per week have 15% more chance of developing breast cancer than women who abstain from alcohol.
  • Dense Breast Tissue – Dense breast tissue makes mammograms difficult to receive, and it also increases the risk of cancer in women who have it. 
  • Gender – the chances of a woman getting breast cancer is 100 times more common than a man. 
  • Genes – it is found that gene mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
  • Early Menstruation – such as getting your period at an earlier stage than average (12 yrs)
  • Giving Birth Later – having a first child at the age of 35 or older 
  • Hormone Therapy – Some medications used to alleviate the signs of menopause have been linked to a higher risk for breast cancer.
  • Family History – if a close relative has had breast cancer, this increases your risk as it can be inherited
  •  Late Start to Menopause – increased risk after 55
  • No Pregnancies – woman who have never conceived or carried a full pregnancy are at higher risk
  • Having Breast Cancer Previously – Having breast cancer before, increases the chances of you developing on the other breast or in a different tissue in the same breast.
  • Obesity – being overweight 

Breast Cancer Prevention 

Acupuncture for breast cancer

Regardless of what causes breast cancer, one can influence their risk in that area by improving their health overall. Getting regular screenings and getting the care your doctor recommends for you will help reduce your risk.

Staying healthy is an important aspect of preventing illnesses in the body. People who are obese have a higher risk of developing certain cancers. Filling our bodies with nutrients by eating healthily and getting some regular exercise can help you lose weight, lower your risk of developing these illnesses, and keep you healthy overall.

Alcohol also affects your health. Alcohol abuse can range from one or two drinks a day to binge drinking and is seriously bad for your health. Reducing alcohol intake benefits you greatly and reduces your risk of cancers.

Getting your breasts screened, scanned and checked regularly also helps to prevent serious cases of breast cancer. When caught early breast cancer can be quite treatable, so it is best to stay on top of your breast health, especially after the age of 55. Yearly mammograms are suggested. You can do monthly self exams to stay aware of how your own breasts look and feel to catch a change early on.

At Centre of balance we can tell you more about how breast cancer forms in the body, prevention and treatment. Contact us today on 078467956 or email info@balancetcm.co.nz. 

Free Online Questionnaire

Our Offer to You

Fill in our online questionnaire for free – and save the $135 it would cost you to do this detailed medical history in person with a practitioner.  You can request a phone call from a practitioner after they have read your online form, or just book your initial exam for $40.  Call us on 07 846 7956 to book, or fill in the questionnaire now.

References 

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about/how-common-is-breast-cancer.html

https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/male_bc

https://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/alcohol