Minimise Risks of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer has become so common these days, so much so that nearly everyone of you would know someone who has been affected by it. Sounds frightening or worrisome? Not really – because as common as breast cancer may be, it is just as treatable, especially if it is diagnosed at an early stage. Plus, there are a lot of things that you can do to minimise your risks.
Let’s take a quick look at some facts about breast cancer in Australia, and then we’ll discuss risk factors, prevention and mammograms.
A Few Facts
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer type which Australian women suffer from. Considering 2017, breast cancer alone accounts for around 28% of newly diagnosed cancers.
- Around 48 people are diagnosed with breast cancer on a daily basis.
- The number of men and women suffering from breast cancer is increasing, but related fatalities are decreasing.
- If a woman is of age 85, the chances of her being diagnosed with breast cancer are 12.5%. For men of the same age, the chances are 0.16% only.
- Around 4.7% of the total breast cancer cases involve younger women, between 20 and 39 years.
- The survival rates of cancer in Australia are among the best in the world.
- In the year 2018, around 18,087 Australian women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
The most common risk factors for breast cancer are the following.
- Being a female
- Strong history of breast cancer in the family; cases have been reported even when there was no family history of the disease
- Genetics, but the link has been observed in around 10% cases only
- Having suffered from breast cancer or Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) in the past
- Early initiation of the menstruation (when a female is of around 12 years)
- Late menopause after adorn 55 years
- First child being born after 30 years
- Drinking alcohol excessively
- Not breastfeeding
What you can do to prevent breast cancer
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Quit smoking, or at least decrease it.
- Watch your weight! Obesity increases chances of breast cancer, especially if you suffer from it after menopause.
- Exercise regularly.
- Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can.
Get yourselves screened regularly
Screening does not really minimise risks, but it does help with early detection of cancer, which makes it easier to treat the disease. This is why the importance of getting a mammogram just cannot be emphasised enough. In most of the cases, you can start getting yearly mammograms if you are 40 years, but this does vary with risk factors as well. Once you cross 55, you can get them every alternate year.
Be familiar with your breast, and if you notice any changes in terms of their appearance and feeling, let your doctor know immediately. Remember, a successful treatment is more likely when detection is early.