Breast Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
Daily, the cells in our bodies divide, grow, and die off. However, sometimes genes in the cells malfunction and can turn healthy cells (Women Hormone Balance Learn More), into cancerous ones. These out of control cells may form a lump or mass. Now, not all lumps or masses are malignant or benign. However, if left untreated, they can pose a health risk. Approximately 85 percent of breast cancers are in the mammary duct, and the smaller percentage is usually in the lobules. These tumors usually grow slowly, but there are cases of rapid growth from aggressive tumors.
Causes and Effect of Breast Cancer
Some of these genes may be genetically inherited, which means you were born with them. If these genes are not inherited, then they have just mutated at some point in your life. There are still studies on the mutated genes to find what causes them to mutate. Today, there are still no solid known causes for the genes that have mutated.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
At the top of the breast cancer risk list is age (PSA Screening Learn More). This is due to the fact that, as you age, you reach menopause (Female Sexual Stimulants Learn More). Women with high density in their breasts, are at an increased risk as well. The denser the tissue, the harder it is to detect these tumor or masses both by hand, or on a mammogram. Family history plays a very important role as well, as this alerts you of the inherited genes that may put you at high risk for breast cancer at any age.
Reproductive risk factors to review include:
- age at your first period
- age of menopause
- postmenopausal hormone use
Basic Tips for Breast Cancer
Early detection is the best chance for effective treatment. Self-examinations should be taught at early developmental ages. Each woman should know how her breast should feel, in order to notice any changes. These exams are important, especially after starting your menstrual cycle (Facts & Myth Learn More). Mammograms are an important addition to help detect possible lumps or masses. However, the younger breast tissue is denser, and mammograms cannot always expose these cells. To conclude, the combination of self-examinations and mammograms (Mammograms Wiki Page), while being aware of your predispositions to cancer, are the best steps to detect and treat breast cancer proactively.
(Information taken from Susan G Komen- For the Cure, www.komen.org and Marshall University Women’s Center- Breast Cancer)