75% of Indian women are shy of getting a breast cancer screening, according to Breast Cancer Awareness Survey. Breast cancer is a serious disease that requires immediate attention and its negligence may even lead to death. Not every woman has the same risk of developing this disease over a lifetime. But one must be aware of risk factors so that women can be benefited by certain preventive strategies.
There are some risks you can control and some you cannot. Here are some risk factors of breast cancer that you should be aware of:
This risk factor is something you can’t control. Age is one of the biggest reasons for breast cancer. About 5% of women under 40 are victims whereas 85% of cases occur in women ages 50 or over.
Being overweight is an alarming factor for breast cancer. The fat tissue raises the level of the hormone estrogen, which is responsible for triggering the disease. Higher insulin levels due to weight gain are also linked with breast cancer.
If the breast tissue is perceived as dense on a mammogram, the chances of breast cancer are higher then. Dense breasts have higher fatty tissues which not only raise estrogen levels but the disease risk as well.
You have more than 50% chance of developing breast cancer if you have two or more first-degree relatives with ovarian and breast cancer. Inheriting mutated genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the main reasons for the elevated risk of this disease.
Studies have reported that trans fats may be responsible for increasing the risk of breast cancer. Trans fats are oils that are used in fast foods such as fried items, cookies, doughnuts, and pastries. Trans fats are used because they give the food items a desirable shape, texture, and taste.
Alcoholism increases the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol reduces your liver’s ability to control the level of the hormone estrogen, which in turn increases the risk of breast cancer.
Not being physically active
The reason is simple. If you’re not physically active, you gain weight which causes a spike in estrogen leading to a higher risk of breast cancer. 20 minutes of medium to heavy physical activity can decrease the risk of breast cancer.
The use of oral contraceptive pills increases the risk of breast cancer slightly. If you plan to take it regularly for years, your chances of contracting this disease are higher. However, if you stop taking the pills, you won’t have any breast cancer risks.
Note: Routine breast screenings minimizes the risk of developing breast cancer. It does not matter if you don’t have a family history or are healthy, breast screening once a month is a must. MFine offers breast screening from the comfort of your home. There’s no need to go to the clinic, a qualified nurse will visit your home and use the radiation-free, painless device for lump screening.