Scare away Breast cancer !!
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer worldwide including India. Every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk of breast cancer.
As we know, there are some factors associated with breast cancer which can’t be changed.
being a woman,
your age, and
Similarly there are other factors that can be changed by making choices.
being overweight, lack of exercise,
and eating unhealthy food.
By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options possible, you can empower yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.
Only 1 out of 10 breast cancers has a known inherited genetic link.
Nine out of 10 breast cancer cases can be triggered and/or promoted by unhealthy lifestyle factors and environmental exposures including:
During the 10 years of breast development, a girl’s food, water, beverages, and air are the building blocks of their new breast tissue — the foundation of their future breast health.
It's important to remember that no procedure, like the emerging celebrity trend of removing both healthy breasts and ovaries at a young age, totally eliminates the risk of cancer. There is still a small risk that cancer can develop in the areas where the breasts used to be.
Breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than 1 year. There is less benefit for women who breastfeed for less than a year, which is more typical for women living in countries such as the United States. But recently Indian working women population also follows the same dangerous pattern. There are several reasons why breastfeeding protects breast health:
Beyond breast health protection, breastfeeding provides important health benefits to the baby and helps the bonding process.
Breastfeeding, besides possibly lowering your breast cancer risk, gives your child antibodies through the breast milk that can protect him/her from bacterial and viral infections.
Women who have started getting periods at an age younger than 12 are under higher risk of breast cancer later in life. The same is true for women who go through menopause when they're older than 55. Over the past 15 years, girls have been starting puberty at younger ages. Breast development has started even earlier than menstrual periods. This unexpected shift has been attributed to the obesity epidemic and broad exposure to hormone disruptors. A rise in hormones triggers the onset of breast development and puberty.
The earlier your breasts form, the sooner they're ready to interact with hormones inside and outside your body, as well as with chemicals in products that are hormone disruptors. This longer interaction with hormones and hormone disruptors can increase risk. Hormone fed chicken meat/eggs and cattle meat should be avoided at any cost.
Also, when girls start menstruating at a younger age, the time between breast development and a first full-term pregnancy is usually longer than when menstruation happens later. During this time, breast tissue tends to be immature, overactive, and particularly sensitive to hormonal influences.
The longer a woman menstruates, the higher her lifetime exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. All of these factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer later in life.
Dense breasts have less fatty tissue compared to breasts that aren't dense. Dense breasts have more gland tissue that makes and drains milk and supportive tissue (also called stroma) that surrounds the gland. Breast density can be inherited, so if your mother has dense breasts, it's likely you will, too.
Research has shown that dense breasts:
Light Exposure at Night
The results of several statistical studies showed that women who work at night like factory workers, doctors, nurses, and police officers, have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who work during the day. Another research suggests that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night (street lights, night lamps etc) have a higher risk of breast cancer.
Researchers think that this increase in risk is linked to melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in regulating the body's sleep cycle. Melatonin production peaks at night and is lower during the day when your eyes register light exposure. When women work at night or if they're exposed to external light at night, their melatonin levels tend to stay low.
It's not clear how much darkness is required to turn on melatonin production.
Closing your eyes does a fairly good job of blocking light, but thick curtains or an eye mask can make sure you're sleeping in darkness.
Exposure to chemicals in plastic
Depending on where you live and work, you're likely to be exposed to many plastic products every day. Food and beverage containers, some disposable plates, and toiletry bottles are all plastic and all are made from chemicals.
Research suggests that all plastics may leach chemicals if they're scratched or heated. Research also strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in these products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.
BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen found in many rigid plastic products, food and formula can linings, dental sealants, and on the shiny side of paper cashier receipts (to stabilize the ink). Its estrogen-like activity makes it a hormone disruptor, like many other chemicals in plastics.
Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen.
While it's likely impossible to completely avoid all plastic products, try to use as little plastic as possible, especially if you're pregnant, and never use it around food.
To reduce your exposure to BPA:
Using Hormone Replacement Therapy
Because the female hormone estrogen stimulates breast cell growth, exposure to estrogen over long periods of time, without any breaks, can increase the risk of breast cancer. Taking combination (estrogen and progesterone) hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for several years or more, or taking estrogen alone for more than 10 years, are associated with increased breast cancer risk.
Breast Self-Exam - Step 1
Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
Step 2 and 3
Raise your arms and look for the same changes.
While you're at the mirror, gently squeeze each nipple between your finger and thumb and check for nipple discharge (this could be a milky or yellow fluid or blood).
Feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side—from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4.
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