Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Can Breast Cancer be Avoided?

Like any other disease, breast cancer has a number of risk factors that we can try to manage in an attempt to avoid it. Yes, we can avoid breast cancer if we will be conscious about our individual lifestyle and the risk factors that may be affecting us.

The hormone estrogen acts like food for breast cancer cells so breast feeding helps reduce the risk of breast cancer since breast feeding lowers estrogen level. Pregnancy reduces the number of menstrual cycle in a woman’s lifetime so it practically lowers the risk of developing the disease.

Obesity could be a factor too. Women with large breasts also have a higher risk since more fats in the breast cause increase in estrogen level. Fat tissues become the main source of estrogen especially after menopause since the ovary has stopped producing the hormone.

Unhealthy diet is also a suspected contributing factor to develop cancer in the long run. Too much fat and cholesterol in the food can increase the risk in developing cancer cells. Even alcohol intake is a potential risk since it hampers the liver’s ability to check estrogen in women.

Medical practitioners also say that taking artificial birth control pills may be a potential risk factor. The risk of breast cancer is related to a woman’s natural hormones and the fact that pills manipulate these natural hormones may elevate the risk considering that not having children alone is already a potential risk in women. However, recent study reveals that such risk is only for a limited period of time.

Early detection is still crucial to an effective treatment. Doctors encourage women to self examine. Example, raise the left arm to examine the left breast. Gently massage the breast in circular motion from the nipple to the outer section and try to feel if there is any lump or cyst. Do the same on the right side. They should do it one week after menstruation. If you feel a lump regardless of size, see a doctor for proper diagnosis.

Together as a human society, we can help each other avoid breast cancer.

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