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Do You Know What Your Risks Are of Developing Breast Cancer?

Aug 17, 2007
Many women all over the world fear breast cancer. It is a killer! It is one of the leading causes of death for women and even men are not immune.

Not that long ago a diagnosis of breast cancer would have been like receiving a death sentence! That's because it was often fatal. However, things are different today because of the amazing advances in medical science in the area of breast cancer research.

For example, a lot more treatments are available to you today than were available 20 years ago. And many women are survivors of this dreaded disease.

Do you know your personal risk factor for developing breast cancer?

It's obvious that just because you're a woman you are more at risk than a man would be. As you age, your risks increase. But you can't really change that. Your genetic makeup is another risk factor. If breast cancer claimed your mother, that increases your risks as well. If you had another close family member who developed breast cancer that also increases your risk of developing it yourself. The age that you had your first menstrual period also affects your risk factor. If you started menstruating before the age of 12, your risk increases. If you passed through menopause after the age of 50, that also increases your risk.

There is a test available now that you can take to see if you carry a mutated gene related to breast cancer.

If you have menopausal symptoms and you are taking estrogen with progesterone, that will increase your risk of developing breast cancer by a small percent. Taking birth control pills is another factor in slightly increasing your risk of having this disease. Your risks will increase if you drink alcoholic beverages and smoke. Obesity may lead to breast cancer as well. You will increase your risks if you seldom exercise. Those who have never breast fed their babies have an increased risk too.

Surprisingly, even men can suffer from breast cancer. And no one really knows who will be its next victim.

As you have seen in this article, there are some risks that you have control over, while there are other risks over which you have no control.

Here are some risks that you can control. Choose healthy habits like regular exercise and watching your weight. Avoid alcoholic beverages as much as possible and don't smoke.

If your genetic background is a risk factor for you, be sure to have regular mammograms and breast examinations by your doctor. You ought to examine your own breasts every month too.

Now that you know a little more about what your own personal risk factors for breast cancer are, you can choose healthy habits to protect yourself. And don't forget to schedule regular examinations by your doctor and examine your breasts yourself once a month. Be sure to include a yearly mammogram for your protection from breast cancer.
About the Author
Learn how to protect yourself from breast cancer. Patricia Wagner writes about a variety of health and wellness issues to help you be healthier.
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