Risk Factors for Breast Cancer. How to do Self Examination
The risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. Out of these, the main factor is being a woman and getting older. Breast cancer is found mostly in women who are 50 years old or older. Some factors which cause breast cancer, such as being a woman, age and genetics are can’t be changed. But other factors such as overweight, smoking cigarette and alcohol usage can be changed by taking treatment. Some the factors which cause breast cancer are listed below:-
Women’s breast development takes 3 to 4 years and complete by age 14, which is uncommon for men. Therefore hormonal stimulation of highly vulnerable cells which causes breast cancer is much more in women than in men. It increases the risk in women.
Most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50. In women, who start their periods before age 12, whose menopause begins after age 55 and who is having first pregnancy after age 30 have a higher risk of being prone to this disease.
Family members such as mother, father, sister or child who has been diagnosed with breast cancer increase the risk of having this disease. Also, the person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier, have a chance to develop new cancer in other breast or on a different part of the same breast is more.
- Radiation to chest or face
Radiation during adolescence period, when the breast is developing, increases the risk for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is diagnosed more in Caucasian women than women of other races. It is due to lifestyle factors, lower quality medical care and less access to mammography etc
BMI (Body mass index) over 25 have the higher risk for breast cancer. It is due to the production of more estrogen by fat cells which causes the development of breast cancer cells.
- Using HRT(Hormone replacement therapy)
Current or recent past users of HRT have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Smoking, drinking alcohol
Smoking, drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol increases the level of estrogen and some hormones which cause breast cancer.
Also, the emerging factors such as deficiency of vitamin D, light exposure at night, DES(Diethylstilbestrol) exposure, eating unhealthy food and exposure of chemicals in cosmetics, food, plastic, sunscreen and water etc, increases the risk of getting breast cancer.
HOW TO DO SELF EXAMINATION?
Step 1: Look at your breast in the mirror with your shoulders straight and arms on your hips. Symptoms are redness in the breast, puckering, bulging of skin and change in the nipple.
Step 2: Raise your arms and look for same change.
Step 3: Look for any sign of fluid coming out of the nipple.
Step 4: lie down and use right hand to feel breast and left hand to feel the right breast. Keep the middle 3 fingers flat and together and move the pads of fingers as Little circles. Use light pressure for the tissues just beneath the breast, use medium pressure for the tissues in middle and use firm pressure for deep tissues in the back of breast. When you reached in deep tissues, you should able to feel down to the ribcage. If any lumps or thickening are found, discuss with the doctor.
Step 5: Check the inner half of right breast by circular movement over entire breast.
Step 6: Feel your breast while you are standing or sitting.
There are many lifestyle choices that help to keep down the risk of breast cancer as low as it can be. Food control, regular exercise and avoiding smoking and alcohol are some of these. Also, an understanding of the factors that cause breast cancer may allow lowering risk and help to prevent the disease step by step.