Men and women have several biological differences that entail varying health complications as they age.
For women, one of the greatest concerns about getting older involves breast cancer. Women are exceptionally more likely to develop breast cancer than men and it becomes more prevalent in women above the age of 55.
Age and gender are two risk factors for breast cancer, but many more also exist. There is a strong link between the breathing of toxins and breast cancer, which puts anyone who has faced toxic exposure like the victims of 9/11 at greater risk.
There are many risk factors for breast cancer and some of them are unavoidable. You need to understand your risk level so you know to take precautionary measures and avoid unintentionally endangering yourself.
To help you better understand breast cancer, we’ll take a look at some of the most important risk factors for it below.
One of the greatest risk factors for breast cancer involves a family history of it or related conditions.
This is because breast cancer can be hereditary. Most cases are acquired, meaning that they were caused by factors unrelated to genetic makeup.
On the other hand, breast cancer can be caused by faulty genes. This can result in a mutation that makes you more susceptible to developing breast cancer.
The problem with a family history of breast cancer is that you share your DNA with your family members. Your direct female relatives, meaning your mother, sisters, and daughters, share roughly half of your DNA.
Mutated genes can be passed down, meaning that you and your direct female family members may share the mutations that cause breast cancer. This is evident if there are two or more incidences of breast cancer within your immediate family.
Furthermore, if you have had breast cancer in the past, then you are much more likely to experience it again in the future.
With this in mind, any family history of breast cancer is a cause for concern. Consider scheduling a screening as a precautionary measure.
Your reproductive history also plays a critical role in your odds of developing breast cancer.
This is relevant in several different ways.
First, your risk level increases if you began your menstrual cycle at a fairly early age (under 11). This exposes you to a higher level of hormones for a longer period, which plays a significant role in the development of breast cancer.
In the same vein, beginning menopause later in your life (over 55) also puts you at risk. This is also because your body has more estrogen to handle for longer.
There are also potential complications regarding your history with pregnancies.
Women who have never been pregnant at any point in their life face a higher risk of breast cancer. This is because pregnancy matures your breast cells. Pregnancy also reduces the number of menstrual cycles you experience, which shortens your exposure to estrogen.
Similar to this is having your first pregnancy late in life, specifically after 30. The problem with this is directly connected to why pregnancy helps prevent breast cancer; the maturation of your breast cells.
Pregnancy is necessary for your breast cells to fully and healthily develop, but this is only possible when your body is still young. Pregnancy after 30 does not have the same effect.
Furthermore, the risk of damage to your breast cells increases with age. Pregnancy causes a rapid expansion of your breast cells, which can exacerbate and copy the genetic damage to your breast cells.
As you can see, there are many breast cancer risks related to your reproductive history. If any of these situations apply to you, then you may want to voice your concerns to your doctor.
Another significant risk factor for breast cancer includes your body type.
In particular, there are two main components here.
First, the density of your breast tissue affects your likelihood of developing breast cancer. Denser breasts are more likely to experience breast cancer due to having less fatty tissue. This also makes it harder to detect breast cancer.
The other relevant element for breast cancer is your race.
In general, white women have the highest risk of developing breast cancer. However, it becomes more common in black women who are under the age of 45. Hispanic and Asian women are relatively unlikely to develop breast cancer.
Taking things a step further, your ethnicity also affects your chances of survival. Black women are at the greatest risk of dying to breast cancer while Hispanic and Asian women face a low chance of death. White women are roughly in the middle.
Knowing this, consider if your body is at an inherent risk for developing breast cancer. Effective prevention begins with precautions and early detection.
As with any other cancer, your lifestyle choices can also contribute to an eventual diagnosis.
In particular, the two most harmful choices include obesity and drinking alcohol.
Obesity may not seem like a choice, but it is the combination of thousands of connected decisions that result in an unhealthy body. This generally includes an unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity.
The issue with obesity is that humans are simply not meant to weigh that much. Obesity places extra pressure on your body and it also causes the cells of your body to stretch and grow. This stretching and growing can result in cell damage, which leads to cancer.
Regular consumption of alcohol can also contribute to breast cancer. This is for two reasons; alcohol promotes the growth of estrogen and damages cells, both of which are the building blocks for the development of breast cancer.
The way you live your life may not seem important now, but it will affect your body in the future. Remember this and avoid any unhealthy habits that make breast cancer more likely.
The most common type of non-skin cancer in women is breast cancer. Older women are at a high risk of developing it due to handling more estrogen throughout their lives and being more likely to have experienced cell damage in their breasts.
Knowing these two contributory elements, there are a few related risk factors for breast cancer. This includes a family history of breast cancer, an unusual reproductive history, having dense breasts, and being white.
Risk factors make you more likely to develop a condition, but any woman can experience breast cancer. Because of this, you must watch for any changes to your breasts, live a healthy lifestyle, and stay on top of regular screenings to protect yourself!