International studies cite breast cancer as the most common type of cancer among women worldwide. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 508,000 women died because of breast cancer in the year 2011. Though breast cancer can also occur in men, women account for 99 percent of all cases of breast cancer.
The following factors contribute to the risks of a woman having breast cancer:
Age – Women aged 50 and above are more at risk of getting breast cancer. Studies show more than 70 percent of women who have had the disease are in their 50s and up.
Personal history – Women who had breast cancer in one breast are more susceptible to having it in the other breast as well.
Genetics – A woman who has a family member that had breast cancer has a higher risk of getting breast cancer as well. It is especially true if the family member is a first-degree relative (i.e., mother, sister, or daughter).
Race – Studies indicate that race plays a factor too. Caucasian women are more prone to being diagnosed with the disease, though African-American women have a higher number of deaths caused by breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and American-Indian women have relatively lower risks.
Protecting yourself from breast cancer
Eat healthily – Though there are no definitive food types that are known to cause or prevent breast cancer, a healthy diet can still reduce your chances of getting the disease. Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Go for green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, as well as cruciferous veggies like broccoli. Eat more citrus fruits, and increase your consumption of healthy fish oil. Meanwhile, avoid fatty, sugary, and processed foods. Dairy products that have high fat content should also be avoided.
Exercise regularly – Keeping your body active helps prevent cancer. It also helps you maintain your weight, which is one of the factors that could influence a woman’s likelihood of acquiring the disease, especially when she is past the menopausal stage.
Live a life free from vices – If you cannot entirely avoid it, at least minimise your alcohol consumption. A number of studies have established a link between alcohol intake and breast cancer – the more you consume alcohol, the higher your risk of having breast cancer will be.
Perform regular self breast examination – Like with most types of cancer, prevention is the most effective form of cure. Make it a habit to examine your breasts to look for possible symptoms of breast cancer: cysts and lumps, abnormal nipple discharge, pain in the nipple or breast, redness or scaliness of the skin, or swelling.
See your doctor regularly – Consult your doctor regularly for a medical check up in Dubai, particularly if you have a family history of breast cancer. Your doctor will prescribe that you undergo a breast ultrasound or a mammography, if you are a woman over the age of 35. This helps with the early detection and prevention of cysts.
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