October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so please remind your mother, sister, aunt, niece or any female friend to get a mammogram. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. One out of every eight women will get breast cancer. Most women who develop breast cancer will not be able to pinpoint one specific cause.
What Causes of Breast Cancer?
According to the National Breast Cancer Organization, “women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer.” Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and poor eating habits could dramatically increase the odds of getting breast cancer. These are all choices of your control.
Risks of getting breast cancer include:
• Being a woman – Simply being a woman, is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer.
• Age – Just like many other diseases, the risk of one getting it increases as one gets older.
• Family History – If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. Understanding your history is key to beating breast cancer.
• Alcohol Consumption – Consistently research has shown that drinking alcoholic beverages, will increase the chance of getting breast cancer.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
Lifestyle habits that can help reduce your risk of breast cancer include:
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Eat fruits and vegetables
• Stay physically active
• Do not smoke
• Limit your alcohol consumption
Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and continually improving treatment options.
If you have an immediate relative with cancer, please talk to your doctor about getting screened earlier. Chances of survival are much great when it is detected earlier.