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Don't Let Breast Cancer Steal Second Base

Posted on: October 23, 2018
Tags: Women's Health

Contributor(s): Tyler Adams

 

Chances are you know someone who has battled, or you yourself have battled Breast Cancer.  The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that each year it is estimated over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed and more than 40,500 will die.  The statistic breaks down to 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer within their lifetime.  Although the majority of breast cancer patients are women, men are not exempt from this disease.  It is estimated that 2,470 men will be diagnosed and approximately 460 will die each year.

 

The cause of breast cancer is still unknown which leaves anyone at risk.  Although the cause is unknown, there are some risk factors that are associated with breast cancer.  These risk factors are usually split into two categories – Environmental and Genetic. 

 

Environmental Risk Factors include:  lack of physical activity, poor diet, radiation to the chest, drinking alcohol, and combined hormone replacement therapy.  Exposure to and involvement in any of these could increase the risk for breast cancer to development.  

 

Genetic Risk Factors include: gender, age, race, family health history, personal health history, and menstrual and reproductive history. Women over 55 are twice as likely to be diagnosed as younger women.  Caucasian women are diagnosed more than women of other races.  If you or anyone in your family has a history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnoses, you are are greater risk.  Early menstruation (before 12-years old) and late menopause (after 55-years old) also increases the risk.  

 

It is important to know that these risk factors do not cause cancer.  In fact, 60-70% of individuals with breast cancer had no connection to these risk factors.  That is why it is important to be intentional about routine self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms to increase the chances of early detection.  Early signs and symptoms include change in how the breast or nipple feels, a change in the appearance of the breast or nipple, and any nipple discharge – particularly clear or bloody discharge.

 

These are all important things to keep in mind.  Talk with your primary care provider about your health and risk for breast cancer, steps you can take to keep yourself at low risk, and discuss any changes with your breasts that you may be concerned about.  

 

For more on Breast Cancer Information click here or here