Every October features a campaign on Breast Cancer Awareness, drawing worldwide attention to all concerning breast cancer including prevention measures to curb the spread. In 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded 2.26 million cases of breast cancer worldwide. Further studies show that the survival chances for the average Nigerian woman are low because in many cases, the disease tends to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Hence, we all need to take proactive steps to reduce our chances by choosing healthier lifestyle options and learning to detect the disease in its early stages. Before we delve into ways of reducing your risk of breast cancer, here are some risk factors of breast cancer.
Risk Factors of Breast Cancer
There are many risk factors for breast cancer, and while some are inherited, others are not; however, being exposed to these risk factors does not automatically mean that a person will develop breast cancer.
Some risk factors of breast cancer include:
- Inherited (BRCA1) and (BRCA2), both of which significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Radiation Exposure
- Excessive Intake of Alcohol
- Unhealthy diet and practices
- Increasing Age.
- Hormone Therapy Procedures
How to reduce the risk of breast cancer
Due to the prevalence of breast cancer and the deaths associated with it in women and in rare cases, men, conscious efforts have been geared towards creating awareness for breast cancer so that more people can better understand the disease and early detection can aid successful treatments. how does one reduce their risk for breast cancer?
- Personalized approach through breast self-exams.
This involves conducting a breast self-exam to detect lumps and other abnormal changes in the breast. For this preventive measure to be effective, you have to be familiar enough with your breasts to detect any changes, symptoms or signs that are not normal. When you do this, you can then detect it at the early stage.
- Good Nutrition
Being more conscious of what you eat can significantly decrease your likelihood of getting breast cancer. Incorporating healthier food such as fruits and vegetables, fibre foods, legumes, healthy fats and proteins like fish and boiled eggs gives you a diet that can offer you preventive protection. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, alcohol and fatty foods as they increase your chances of being overweight, having a weak immune system and being prone to breast cancer.
- Maintain fitness.
Obesity is a common risk factor for getting breast cancer. Hence, in addition to eating right, one must balance their calorie intake with the right amount of exercise and activeness to maintain the right weight.
- Genetic Testing
Risks of having breast cancer can now be detected through testing inherited and developed mutations in the BRCA1, PALB2, BRCA2, PALB2 or CHEK2 genes. Once these mutations have been detected, efforts can now be made to reduce their susceptibility to breast cancer by taking preventive measures and detecting cancer at a more treatable stage.
- Preventive Treatment
Women who have been diagnosed to have a very high risk of getting breast cancer due to exposure to risk factors or through inheritance are administered preventive treatments that can reduce their risk or go through a surgical procedure to have their breasts removed (mastectomy) before these cancerous cells can replicate and spread.
Join the efforts to curb the spread of breast cancer by staying aware and helping others to stay aware. The risks of breast cancer can be reduced if proper measures are taken; you can also increase your chances of survival if you can learn to detect abnormalities early. You can also visit any Lily Hospitals facilities to carry out the necessary tests or call 07053351741 now to schedule an appointment. Spread the word and help someone to make better choices on risk reduction to kick against breast cancer.