One of the most important things a women can do to prevent, and catch early signs of the disease is to know her breasts. The more familiar you are with your breasts, the easier it will be for you to spot any changes. So what are you supposed to be looking for anyway?
- a lump or swelling in the armpit
- changes in breast size or shape
- dimpling or puckering of the skin
- redness, swelling, and increased warmth in affected breast
- inverted nipple (turned inward)
- crusting or scaling on nipple
Remember: most lumps are not cancer. Be sure to check with your doctor.
Modifiable risk factors, breast cancer and increase snoring. Weight – we know obesity a risk factor after menopause. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed women who were not overweigh or obese at 18, but were at ages 35 and 50 have 1.4 times the risk of developing breast cancer compared to women (non hormone users) who maintained a stable weight. This was pronounced in women who had a late onset period and gained weight. Weight and accumulation of fat mass reflects the accumulation of estrogen in the breast fat tissue and could initiate or potentially promote the growth of cancer cells. Alcohol – a recent study highlighted that with increasing daily alcohol consumption, women were more at risk than non-drinkers were. As high as 30% in those consuming 3 or more glasses a day, but it was noted to a 10% increase in those drinking one glass daily.
Decrease breast cancer and snoring. Exercise – many studies show that women who exercise decrease their risk. Diet – a low fat, high fibre diet contributes to better weight management. Some studies show that a high fat diet can put you at increased risk. Some believe that the issue is the caloric intake, not specifically fat calories.
The most common risk factor is being a woman over the age of 50. But a woman is more likely to have breast cancer if:
- family history of breast cancer
- had breast cancer before
- began menstruating at a yang age
- reached menopause late
- had radiation treatment in the area of her chest
- has dense breast tissue
Do you know the males can have breast cancer?
About 180 Canadian men will be diagnosed in 2011 with breast cancer, and it is estimated that 50 men will die from it.
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