Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. It is responsible for almost 10 million deaths worldwide in 2020. Nearly 13% of the women, that is 1 in 8 women, in the U.S are diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The stats are more horrible in Asian countries as in Pakistan 1 in 9 women is diagnosed with this type of cancer. It’s an issue of great concern due to its increasing figures around the globe. The death rate is also increasing due to the late diagnosis of the disease and lack of awareness relating to risk factors for breast cancer.
Who is more vulnerable to Breast cancer?
Breast Cancer is not a contagious disease. It occurs due to a variety of environmental and genetic factors. Women are more susceptible to cancer, while the disease is rare in men. It occurs in less than 1% of men, so women are the most targeted victims. Those with a family history of the disease and reproductive problems are more prone than others.
Risk factors for breast cancer
It occurs due to a variety of factors. Some of the most common risk factors for breast cancer are listed below in detail.
Family History is a factor in the development of breast cancer. The risk of cancer doubles having first-degree relatives with breast cancer, and second-degree relatives increase up to 3 folds.
Research studies have shown that almost 15% of women with this type of cancer have a family history.
Genetic mutation is the most common cause of this cancer. 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer is hereditary. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the two genes that are responsible for the production of protein. These proteins are responsible for the repair of damaged DNA in normal cells. Mutations in these two genes lead to Breast cancer when inherited from parents to offspring.
Obesity also increases the risk of cancer. Enhanced body weight disturbs the hormonal balance of the body. Hormonal imbalance leads to several health problems such as; breast cancer and mutations in the gene. The presence of more fat increases estrogen levels which leads to breast cancers.
Age is also a factor because most cancers are diagnosed in women at age 50 and above. It is rare in girls in their 20s and 30s. According to statistical data, 1 in 227 or 0.4% of women in their 30s will develop such cancer. The percentage of breast cancers increases with the advancement in age. For those aged 40 to 50, the ratio rises to 1.5%, or 1 in 68 women. From age 60 to 70, the percentage goes up to 3.6%, which means one in 28 women is diagnosed with cancer.
Those women who have survived cancer once are more prone to breast cancer for the second time.
Reproductive Health problem
Reproductive history has a positive impact on such cancers. History such as; early menarche, late menopause, infertility, and other reproductive diseases increase the vulnerability to cancer.
Denser the breasts greater the risk of developing breast cancers in women. Denser breasts can also make the mammogram hard to read, which leads to delayed diagnoses of cancer.
X-rays and UV radiations
Exposure to X-rays and some UV radiations are also associated with an enhanced risk of developing breast cancer. Limit Exposure to X-rays because it’s also responsible for mutations and other types of cancers.
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