In the UK, 1 in 2 of the entire population will get cancer. The top 4 killer cancer in the UK are Breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and bowel cancer. Other prominent cancers of women are ovarian cancer and skin cancer.
Therefore, this should be a concern to every individual regardless of gender. Having faced this problem with the people dearest to me, I sensed your concern.
With the ever-rising cases of this killer disease, you need to increase your awareness of it’s risk factors. The information in this document should be incorporated with the advice of your physician, who understands your health condition better.
Let figures speak louder to make you realize the seriousness of this situation.
How common is breast cancer and who is most likely to get it?
By 2040, cancer deaths will be 16.4 million, with cancer cases shooting to 29.5 million. In the United States alone, 250,000 females and 5,300 males are diagnosed with breast cancer yearly. Of that number, 42,000 and 510 women and men respectively succumb to the disease.
According to the American cancer society, 287,850 breast cancer cases will be diagnosed in the USA alone and 43, 250 women will die from breast cancer.
The National cancer institute shows that breast cancer will contribute to 7.1% of all cancer deaths in 2022.
The above statistics show that breast cancer occurs more in females than males. However, the ratio doesn’t rule out the risk in males.
What is breast cancer?
A 2021 study concluded that breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. It accounts for 1 in every 10 new cases of cancer each year.
Cancer is always detected at a more advanced stage. Usually, it takes up to 10 years to detect breast cancer. You may be in your 5th or 8th year, so be on your guards concerning this matter.
Below are some common breast cancer risk factors that you should know.
1. Prolonged exposure to the endogenous estrogens
Female hormone estrogen can cause and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Women who have babies late are at higher risk. However, women who get pregnant at a younger age have a lower risk of breast cancer.
A 2008 study proves that exposure to exogenous and endogenous estrogen hormones increases breast cancer risk.
They expose themselves to estrogen hormones for a long time. The other cause of this exposure is due to late or delayed menopause.
Studies show that women who experience early menstruation and delayed menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer. Consequently, women who undergo postmenopausal hormone therapy may be at risk of breast cancer.
2. Hormone intake
According to a 2018 study, oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer by 50%. Therefore, women who use these pills have a higher threat of developing breast cancer than their counterparts.
Another 2018 clinical trial found a 20% higher risk of breast cancer in women who use oral contraceptives or hormone therapy treatments.
According to Cancer Research UK, contraceptives and birth control pills increase your risk of developing breast cancer. However, your risk returns to normal 10 years after you stop using these pills.
Moreover, breast cancer risk decreases after you stop using these birth control drugs.
3. Family history of breast cancer
A 2018 scientific study found that strong family history of breast cancer could cause many women past 65 years to develop breast cancer. The risk is much higher if the relative developed breast cancer before menopause.
Another recent study found that a family history of breast cancer accounts for 5-10% of breast cancer cases due to abnormal genes passed down from parents. Therefore, if you have a mother or a sister who has cancer, you risk developing breast cancer.
Women whose mothers were carrying their pregnancy while battling cancer have a slightly higher risk than other women.
This is a rare case in all the possible causes of breast cancer. It results from gene mutations of damaged genes in an individual’s family. Breast cancer risk may be inherited from family history with constant gene mutation.
The typical breast cancer genes are BRAC1, BRac2, and p53. These genes increase the risk of breast cancer in women. You may control these genetic mutations through preventive surgery or treatments that decrease estrogen levels in the body.
According to CDC, you’re at a somewhat higher risk of cancer if you have at least two first-degree relatives with cancer.
4. Lifestyle of an individual
Women who take alcoholic beverages have a higher risk of breast cancer. Cancer cells also thrive best in acidic conditions. Other factors like smoking and a bad diet may also increase cancer risk.
When the body acidity increases, through perverted appetite and uncontrolled drinking, the cancer cells grow faster. Mark you; an animal-based diet has a lot of clinical links to several cancers in humans. If you live right, you will reduce your breast cancer risk.
Several thoughts revolve around possible links between underwire bras and breast cancer, but there is no sufficient scientific evidence.
A 2021 clinical study proved that 80% of most breast cancers in women occur at age 50 plus.
The findings in this study are affirmed by the National Health Service of the United Kingdom that there is a higher risk of breast cancer in women past 50 years. 8 out of 10 breast cancer cases in women occur in women past the age of 50.
Therefore, by getting old, your breast cancer risk increases.
In addition, in women, the risks of breast cancer increase after menopause. Women past 50 years should go for screening after every 3 years.
You should ensure regular screening and proper lifestyle adjustment to reduce breast cancer risk.
6. Radiation Therapies
A 2009 study found that several cases of breast cancer at young age result from exposure to radiation therapies.
Individuals with previous radiation therapy around the chest or breast area before they reach 30 years are at higher risk of breast cancer.
Radiation exposure creates free radicals in the body, which are cancerous. Exposure to these radiations for a long may increase your risk of breast cancer.
7. Reproductive history of an individual
A 2008 study found that there is a link between reproductive history and risk of breast cancer. Women with children have a slightly lower risk of breast cancer than those who don’t.
Another 2014 study concluded that reproductive history, like the first child, spacing between pregnancies can influence the risk of breast cancer.
Having the first child past the age of 30, failure to breastfeed can raise the risk of breast cancer. A 2017 clinical trial found that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer in women.
Studies show that even if a family member has ovarian cancer, you have an average risk of breast cancer.
8. Benign breast conditions
If you previously had a non-cancerous lump on your breast (benign breast conditions), it may become cancer later. In most cases, up to 80% of breast lumps turn benign. However, 20% may develop into breast cancer later. Developing breast cancer increases with other underlying breast conditions and diseases.
9. Previous case of breast cancer/ lump
If you have cancer cells in any part of the body at any point in time, you are at a higher risk to develop it again. A previous cancer diagnosis may be a risk factor for breast cancer or other cancer.
If you had cancer in one breast, you can develop cancer on the other breast even after mutilation.
10 Breast tissue densities
The breast has thousands of lobules (breast tissues) that produce milk. These glandular tissues possess more cells than any tissue in the breast.
Dense breast tissue has more connective tissue than fatty tissue leading to a higher rate of cell division. With every cell division, the body produces bad cells which become cancerous.
Therefore, women with dense breasts are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This is the leading cause of breast cancer in young women as they have dense breasts.
11. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT is the treatment to relieve the effects of menopause. Studies suggest that women who have used hormone replacement therapy are at higher risk of breast cancer than women who haven’t. These treatments for hormonal imbalances pose a breast cancer risk to women.
However, there is no risk of breast cancer if you use the treatment for less than a year. Nevertheless, higher frequencies may pose a risk of developing breast cancer.
12. Physical activity
A 2011 study found that physical exercise is related to a higher risk of breast cancer through several interrelated biological factors. Therefore, physical inactivity may pose a risk for breast cancer.
Another peer-reviewed study suggests that lifetime physical activity may reduce women’s risk of developing breast cancer without other risk factors.
13. Breast diseases like atypical hyperplasia
Personal history of breast cancer or other breast tissue diseases may pose a risk for new cancer.
Individuals with non-cancerous breast diseases like atypical hyperplasia are at higher risk of breast cancer.
Other diseases that may increase the risk of breast cancer are ductal and lobular carcinoma. Women with carcinoma are three times more likely to develop new breast cancer.
Even at a young age, personal history of breast disease may double the usual risk for breast cancer.
The research found that white women have a higher risk of breast cancer than black and Hispanic women. However, a 2017 study shows that breast cancer mortality is lower in white women than in black women.
Studies show that though black women have a lower risk of breast cancer, their cases become worse quickly if they are diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age.
Several environmental factors may increase the risk of breast and other cancers. Exposure to radiation and carcinogenic chemicals may trigger cancerous cells.
Effective ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer:
Several risk factors for breast cancer are lifestyle-related. You can easily manage most of these risk factors by improving your habits and substituting your diet with healthy foods. Some of the known risk factors include:
Keeping a healthy weight
A 2021 study suggests a strong relationship between obesity and the peril of developing breast cancer. Overweight women have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to those with normal body weight.
Another 2020 study suggests that women who lose weight past 50 and maintain lower body weight have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight and body mass index is very protective by reducing the high risk of breast cancer.
Another 2015 clinical study supports the risk of developing breast cancer in overweight postmenopausal women. Normal body weight poses a reduced risk of all types of cancers.
Reduce high-fat diets, and eat simple natural food. Cultivate the habit of eating green vegetables and nuts for oils. A plant-based diet can reduce the risk of breast cancer. A plant-based diet will help you maintain healthy body weight.
Engage in regular exercise
Burning excess calories in the body will help reduce the incidence of becoming obese—obesity links to more cancers in humans than breast cancer alone.
Furthermore, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of breast cancer due to familial genetic history. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, ensure you maintain physical exercise.
Don’t drink alcohol
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers, including breast cancer. It weakens the immune system, thus making the body defenseless.
A 2015 research found a relationship between alcohol consumption and a high risk of developing breast cancer. Furthermore, in 2020 scientists affirmed that alcohol intake is a modifiable factor in developing breast cancer.
In addition, alcohol is acidic, and therefore, it creates a suitable environment for cancer cells to grow. It also affects the liver, which is responsible for detoxifying the body; hence your system is ideal for thriving cancer cells.
Therefore, to reduce your risk, avoid alcohol consumption.
Your risk of breast cancer increases if you are a smoker. A 2001 study suggests that smoking is a weak factor for breast cancer but strong for other cancers.
Another medically reviewed study shows an increased risk of breast cancer due to long-term smoking.
Smocking is the primary cause of lung cancer. But, it does much more to health than this alone. It is also a contributor to breast cancer.
It has effects on the hemoglobin component of red blood cells. Therefore, you deprive the blood cells of their ability to transport sufficient oxygen to vital body parts.
The body is subsequently unable to fight disease-causing germs in the body. Moreover, the system is weak in dealing with abnormal cancerous cells. This scenario increases your risk of breast cancer.
Breastfeed your infants
This is the most accessible and beneficial of all the risk factors. It’s vital for the baby and the mother’s overall health.
Research suggests that women who properly breastfeed their infants have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Women who don’t breastfeed their children are at higher risk of breast cancer than those who properly breastfeed their young ones.
Instead, follow the immutable laws of nature, which are the commandments of God in consequences.
Reduce consumption of animal products
Fruits and vegetables are linked to many healthy habits and other lifestyle factors for healthful living.
A 2006 meta-analysis study found that high soy intake may reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, more research is required in this area.
Therefore, a flesh diet is among the risk factors for breast cancer that you may consider substituting with plant proteins.
Today individuals are greedy for money-getting. Many use evil means to meet abnormal profits within a short time.
So, they use many hormones to enhance the faster growth of animals to fetch quick market prizes—these results in adverse effects when consumed in the body.
Instead, people often go for dairy products with high-fat contents that are unsuitable for the body. Animal products affect the body’s acidity and alkalinity ratio, causing an increased risk of breast cancer.
Avoid carbonated drinks
According to the National Institute of health, there is an increased risk of breas cancer with an increased intake of sugary carbonated drinks.
High refined sugar content weakens the immune system while supplying cancerous cells. Instead, use natural sweeteners like honey. To reduce your risk of breast cancer, substitute these beverages with fruit juices.
For your notice, colas have no nutritional value that your system needs. They increase breast cancer risk and deprive you of essential food nutrients.
Careful lifestyle re-organization
Cancer is a lifestyle disease. If you change your ways of living and focus on healthy practices, you will regain health. Furthermore, if you have a personal history of any cancer, then you must watch your lifestyle.
For example, eating, drinking, and dressing healthfully reduces your chances of developing breast cancer.
Be a believer
God will keep you from the attacks of the willy foe. Moreover, he promised,
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. (Exodus 15:26)
Natural remedy in case you develop this kind of cancer
The best way to prevent breast cancer is to follow keenly natural laws and boost your immune system. It’s better to use lifestyle practices for breast cancer treatment. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may consider vegetable juices, wheat grass juice, and fruit juices.
Research done on herb therapies has proved that they help fight cancer by:-
- They ease the symptoms
- Attack cancer cells
- Reduce the spread of cancer cells in the body
- Remove all the previous treatment side effects.
What are the 6 types of breast cancer?
Invasive ductal carcinoma
A type of breast cancer where the cells grow from the ducts and then spread to other breast tissues.
Invasive lobular carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma is a type of invasive breast cancer which originate from the lobules to other breast tissues
Paget’s disease attacks the skin around the nipple called the areola. In most cases, people that have this disease are prone to have tumours within the same breast
Breast cancer begins in the milk duct and then spreads to other breast parts.
Mucinous is rare cancer originating from the breast’s milk duct. It accounts for less than 2% of all breast cancer incidences.
Inflammatory breast cancer
This type of breast cancer is common in young women. It’s more prominent in obese women than those who have normal weight. It includes swelling of the breast due to the blockage of the lymph vessels in the breast skin.
Is breast cancer more common in white or Black women?
There are several conflicting results from different scientific publication on which race have higher susceptibility to breast cancer. many studies says that white women are more prone to breast cancer that African-American women.
Today even African women with the lowest incidences of breast cancer have an alarming increase in diagnosis. They realize this because: –
- There is an increase in urbanization
- Reduction in physical activities due to mechanization
- Increasing consumption of refined foods with dense calories
- Increase consumption of alcohol and drug abuse
What are the 12 signs of breast cancer?
In dealing with symptoms, there are facts that you must have right. First, not everyone experiences symptoms of breast cancer. Second, in contrast, others show different signs from others suffering from the same type of breast cancer.
Some of the general ones, according to the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC), include:
- Unusual pimple in the breast or the armpit
- Irritation on the breast skin or dimpling of the same
- Redness in the nipple area of the breast
- Pain in the nipple area
- Color change of the nipple
- Discharge from the breast containing blood
- Pain on and around the breast
- Swelling on the part of the breast
- A change in size or shape of the breast(s)
Diagnosis of breast cancer
When should you seek medical attention? You should undertake cancer screening regularly. Although, when you see the symptoms mentioned above, you should see an expert.
Here are some of the diagnosis procedures of breast cancer.
Breast cancer screening/mammogram
Breast cancer screening means an X-ray of the breast. In some cases, your physician may suggest you go for an ultrasound. This is mainly done to individuals under the age of 35.
Ultrasound uses very high-frequency waves to detect any lumps or abnormalities in your breast. It also reveals if the lump is solid or liquid.
Genetic testing for breast cancer may also detect breast cancer genes. For safety, you need yearly mammograms and screening for earlier detection of cancerous cells.
This is where some cells are extracted from the breast to examine if it’s cancerous. There are two types of biopsy.
This is where a needle is used to extract fluids from your breast. In this procedure, no tissue is removed to be tested if it’s cancerous. Other tests include scans, tests at the clinic and examinations by a general practitioner.
This is an image-guided technique which helps in the evaluation of non-palpable breast lesions.
What are the stages and grades of breast cancer?
When you are diagnosed with cancer, your doctor will tell you the stage. The cancer stage refers to the size and spread of the tumour. The state is used further to describe the outlook.
Stage zero is always known as Ductal carcinoma. Typical stages of breast cancer include:
Stage 1: In this stage, cancer has not spread to any part of the body. The tumor is less than 2cm in length. Even the lymph nodes in the armpit area are not affected.
Stage 2: The tumor is 2-5 cm long. Cancer at this stage affects the lymph in the armpits. At this stage, cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
Stage 3: Here, the tumor is attached to other parts of the breast. The tumor is 2 to 5 cm in length. The skin and tissues around the breast are affected.
Stage 4: This stage is also known as metastasis. It can be of any length and spread to various body parts. At this stage, survival rates are lower.
Common Grades of breast cancer during diagnosis
Grades describe the appearances of cancer cells. The grades are divided into three categories. These are the grade:
1: The cells are abnormal but growing slowly.
2: The cells here look more abnormal than in the first grade.
3: The cells are highly abnormal. The growth is also exponential.
Now you have more information on breast cancer than before. Furthermore, all these breast cancer risk factors are avoidable through healthful living and positive lifestyle practices. Consider readjusting your lifestyle to lower your risk.
The stated ways to reduce the risk are affordable and will help you reduce the risk to near Zero. In fact, following natural laws of health will keep you from diseases.
You should seek advice from your genetic counsellor on possible ways to avoid the genetic related breast cancer.