It took me a few good years to realize that breast cancer awareness month was more about educating the masses and less about expanding my collection of pink things.
So, without further ado, here are a few facts about breast cancer that you might or might not know. Either way, they will help you increase your awareness of breast cancer.
- 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women of all ages can get breast cancer although the risk is higher in women over 40. Men can also get it however the cases are rare.
- Isolation could increase your risk of getting breast cancer
Researchers at the University of Chicago recently revealed that lonely women could be at a greater risk of getting breast cancer. This is because stress and anxiety caused by social isolation can be strong enough to increase the growth of tumors in the breasts.
- Secondhand smoke could also increase the risk of breast cancer
Secondhand smoking could be just as bad as actual smoking because both parties are inhaling the same harmful particles. Chemicals from tobacco smoke reach breast tissue and can even be found in breast milk.
- The best time to do a breast exam is after your period starts
I will leave it to these guys to show you how to perform a self-breast exam. The best time to do this exam however is 3-5 days after the start of your period. This is because your breasts are not lumpy or tender which reduces your chances of freaking out over a random harmless lump. If you have already hit menopause, have your exam done on the same day each month.
- Speaking of false alarm lumps…
If you feel a lump in your breast, you should see a doctor as soon as you can; but don’t panic. 80% of lumps turnout to be harmless and non-cancerous.
- Early detection and treatment is key to survival
The average 5-year survival rate for women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 91%. You have a higher chance of winning the breast cancer battle if it gets detected early enough.
- Breast implants may lower your risk
As much as the highest risk factors like family history and age are outside your control, there are a few things here and there that you can do to reduce your risk factors. One of them is by getting breast implants. Remember that time when Angelina Jolie revealed that she decided to get a double mastectomy in order to reduce her 87% risk of getting breast cancer? She replaced her breasts with implants because implants reduce the amount of tissue available for a tumor to form.
- And now to conclude with some foods that could help reduce your risk of breast cancer
Salmon, flax seeds and nuts are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight breast cancer. Foods like broccoli have also been shown in research to block tumor growth. And finally, foods rich in carotenoids like carrots, oranges and sweet potatoes are known to be rich in vitamin A which also helps in lowering the risk.
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