Breast cancer afflicts a significant percentage of women. This post looks at some lesser-known ways that can impact the onset of cancer and what you can do about it.
Cancer that forms in the cell of the breast is called breast cancer. After skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women is breast cancer. The average risk of a female in the USA developing breast cancer at any point in time is at 12%. In 2019, the American Cancer Society estimated about 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer.
There are many factors that influence the risk of increasing breast cancer, age is the biggest factor. In some cases, breast cancer runs in the family and sometimes it could be faulty genes that are linked to breast cancer.
There are different stages in breast cancer
- Stage 0 is where cancer remains in the duct and does not spread anywhere else. It is known as ductal carcinoma.
- Stage 1 the tumor bulges and grows to 2 cm. However, the lymph nodes are not affected by cancer still
- Stage 2 cancers start to spread to the neighboring nodes and the tumor starts to grow more than 2 cm.
- Stage 3 cancer starts affecting the lymph nodes and the tumor grows big to 5 cm.
- Stage 4 is the final stage of cancer. At this stage, cancer has spread to the whole body even the brains, lungs, liver, bones and kidney. The treatment at this stage is likely to have a low effect on the patient.
Here are 9 surprising factors that can also influence breast cancer and what you can do to prevent them.
1. The link between obesity and breast cancer
Most people are unaware of the link between obesity and breast cancer. The increased weight influences the cancer cell leading to breast cancer.
However, certain changes in lifestyle can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Reducing the intake of alcohol, switching to healthy food habits, and being active with the help of exercise and yoga all go a long way in enabling an improved lifestyle.
2. With age increases the risk
The chances of breast cancer increase for females over the age of 70 years. But these days, even younger women are susceptible to breast cancer because of their lifestyle.
Changing lifestyle inculcating good habits and maintaining a healthy diet could reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Even one glass of alcohol can increase the risk
Drinking small amounts of alcohol can increase the chances of breast cancer. In a recent study, researchers found that drinking a glass of wine or alcohol can spike up the chances of developing breast cancer by 5%.
There is no safe limit when it comes to drinking alcohol; a single glass of alcohol daily increases the risk of having cancer.
4. Early detection
The chance of successfully treating breast cancer is by getting an early diagnosis. You can check for signs of breast cancer at home when you are taking a shower. Check the breast for lumps or fluid discharge.
Any sign of pain in the armpit or collarbone will help in the early diagnosis. For women over 50, it is recommended to go for breast check-up. One should visit the physician at least every three years.
Irrespective of the age, every woman should check for these signs of breast cancer. The earlier it is detected, the higher will be the success rate of breast cancer treatment.
5. Not necessary it has to be a lump
It is not necessary that lump is the only symptom of breast cancer; there are other symptoms that indicate towards breast cancer. Symptoms like change in the texture of the breast, shape, size, a skin rash, pain in the underarm or even a patch of dry skin are signs of breast cancer.
If at any given time you notice that there is a fluid discharge from the nipple followed by a streak of blood also indicates breast cancer.
If you note any of these symptoms contact your physician at the earliest so that they can start breast cancer treatment and prevent cancer from progressing.
6. HRT increases the risk of having breast cancer
Hormone replacement therapy increases your chances of having breast cancer. HRT contains hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are used mostly by women who go through menopause.
HRT helps them with fatigue and hot flashes. However, using it continuously is dangerous as it heightens the chances of having breast cancer. A combination of HRT increases cancer by 75% even if used for a short time.
Women who use combined HRT are 2.7x more likely to be afflicted with breast cancer. However, women who stopped using HRT reduced the risk of having cancer within two years of stopping HRT.
7. Stress is also a risk factor
Adverse lifestyle and everyday stress are factors that increase the risk of having breast cancer. Studies have suggested that daily stress can lead to cancer especially breast cancer.
The overall evidence does not indicate this relation of stress to breast cancer. But the possibility of stress leads to developing bad and unhealthy habits like eating too much, excessive drinking of alcohol, or continuous smoking. These can, in turn, trigger the onset of cancer.
If you are experiencing stress, then it is best to try to manage it. You could get yourself for enrolled stress therapy management and alter your lifestyle. You can also reduce stress by staying active. Try to avoid smoking and drinking as well. Having an active and healthy lifestyle helps in living longer.
8. Inherited breast cancer
Recent studies by physicians show that 5 to 10 percent of women who got breast cancer have gene mutation linked to their cancer which is passed on through generations by their family.
If there is a history in the family for breast cancer, it is advisable to visit the physician and get a blood test done. The early diagnosis aids in treating cancer at an early stage before it advances and gets incurable making it life-threatening.
9. Even men can get breast cancer
The myth that only women can get breast cancer is wrong. Although it affects women more often, men also face the risk of getting breast cancer.
One in a thousand men has the risk of breast cancer. Especially with those men who have a history of breast cancer in their family. Men above the age of 60 are most likely to have breast cancer.
It is important to create breast cancer awareness in men as well so that they do not hesitate in discussing the abnormalities.
These are the nine factors that can influence the risk of increasing breast cancer. Above all, the key is detecting the early signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
This helps the oncologist and physician to start breast cancer treatment before it advances to an incurable stage. Creating breast cancer awareness in both men and women is also important.