By Monica Wilcox
I need your help to save the lives of millions of women. But first we’re going to save YOURS.
Here are some critical facts to help you keep your breasts healthy and cancer free.
Assessing Your Risk
- Your biggest risk factor for breast cancer is age. 95% of new cases and 97 % of breast cancer deaths occur in women 40 years or older. If you’re over 40 preventive measures are mandatory.
- Your left breast is statistically more prone to developing cancer than your right one. Scientists are not sure why.
- Only 5-10% of breast cancers occur in women with a genetic predisposition. Just because this disease doesn’t run in your family DOESN’T mean you’re in the clear.
- Women WITH the gene mutation run a lifetime risk as high as 4 in 5 of developing the disease. If the women in your family (maternal AND paternal) have battled breast cancer get educated and find a fantastic doctor.
- Over 50; get your mammogram. It’s been estimated that if every women over 50 got a yearly mammogram, breast cancer deaths in this age group would drop by 25% or more. If you’re under 50 talk to your doctor about when you should start getting mammograms or a breast thermography.
- If you live in the U.S you have the highest risk of getting breast cancer in the world.
- Being overweight increases your risk. Research has found a strong correlation between increased weight and breast cancer, especially for those who gained weight in adolescence or after menopause.
- Breastfeeding your baby has consistently been shown to lower your risk of breast cancer.
- If you’ve been on hormone replacement therapy for more than 5 years, you have a higher risk of getting breast cancer, especially if both estrogen and progesterone are given together. If you’re on HRT or if you are premenopausal, thoroughly evaluate your options.
- If you are of Ashkenazi (French, German, and East European) Jewish descent you have a significantly higher (1 in 40) chance of carrying the breast cancer gene.
- Nurses who work night shifts and flight attendants who disrupt their circadian rhythm are at a higher risk for breast cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancerrecently concluded shift work, especially at night, is carcinogenic to humans.
- If your breasts are dense, your risk goes up 4 to 6 fold over women with lower breast density.
Now that you’ve got a grasp on your risk, let’s talk…