What Is Known About Breast Cancer Recurrence
The treatment received after an initial diagnosis of breast cancer is intended to kill any cancer cells surgery for the removal of the tumor, and chemotherapy, radiation or hormone therapy to deal with cells outside the tumor. No treatment is perfectly effective, so it is possible that certain cancer cells present at the time of diagnosis are able to hide out and survive the treatment chosen. Consultation with a wise and trusted oncologist will help a woman to sort through the maze of talk shows, well-meaning relatives, and even perfect strangers, all with a success story that must be shared with you definitely one of the most challenging parts of dealing with breast cancer. In addition to conventional treatment and surveillance options, there is much a woman can do to lessen her own risks of recurrent breast cancer.
Everything mentioned in the above paragraph are factors over which a woman has no choice or control. On the other hand, there are certain lifestyle factors which can be modified and thus deserve particular consideration for secondary prevention even more than for primary prevention. Following a breast cancer diagnosis, a woman has the opportunity to review all the conventional and well-known risk factors that can be modified to reduce cancer risk. Additionally, certain other more individualized steps can be taken to mitigate risk.
Alcohol And Breast Cancer Risk
Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day may increase the risk of breast cancer. This risk grows with the amount of alcohol consumed. One drink is defined as 10 grams of alcohol, which typically means one of the following:
- Twelve-ounce beer
- Four-ounce glass of wine
- Shot of hard liquor or spirits
With each drink you consume in excess of seven per week, your risk may increase. Women who drink more than seven drinks a week can lower their risk by lowering their alcohol intake.
Make Time For An Outdoor Walk
The benefits are twofold. A study of nearly 60,000 postmenopausal women published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention in 2014 found that those who consistently walked about 35 minutes a day were 10 percent less likely to develop cancer. And a 2017 study out of the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, saw early signs that the same blue light wavelengths that regulate your circadian rhythm may stop subcutaneous fat cells from storing too much of the stuff. Most women add this form of fat as they gain weight, says McTiernan, and being overweight or obese raises the chances of breast cancer postmenopause. To keep your BMI healthy and breast-cancer risk in check, get regular moderate-intensity exercise, like two and a half hours a week of brisk walking, swimming, or bikingand if you can, log some of it outside.
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How To Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK for women. Every year around 55,000 people receive a diagnosis. Although there are some risk factorsfor developing the disease that cant be changed, such as your age or genetics, there are steps that all of us can take to reduce our risk of developing breast cancer.
Avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is used to treat symptoms of menopause caused by sharply declining estrogen levels, such as hot flashes, sleep disruption and vaginal dryness. It involves taking supplemental estrogen by pill or patch, sometimes in combination with the hormone progestin. But experts estimate that HRT, which exposes postmenopausal women to increased estrogen, causes 15 per cent of new cases of breast cancer. HRT is to be avoided if at all possible, except for extreme cases when women are really suffering with menopause, says Friedenreich.
Its important to have a conversation with your health care provider, adds Chirrey. Talk about the risks and benefits of HRT. Depending on your symptoms, a physician may suggest local estrogen therapy, which uses low-dose vaginal estrogen, released by a cream or ring, and carries a much lower risk because very little estrogen will get into your bloodstream. If you do opt for hormone replacement therapy, use it for as short a period as possible, and no more than five years. The elevated risk of breast cancer dissipates a few years after stopping HRT.
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Best Ways To Prevent Breast And Cervical Cancer
Breast and cervical cancers are among the most common cancers in women with the latter being exclusive to females only however, they are easy to prevent and even treat when diagnosed early. Whats the best ways to prevent breast and Cervical Cancer. This article will give an in-depth look into both types of cancer, crucial facts about them, their relationship to each other and how to prevent them.
An Overview of Breast and Cervical Cancer:
Breast cancer is an invasive cancer which affects breast cells and later spreads to other cells and tissues. It is one of the most common cancers among women globally and the leading invasive cancer in women. It is however not excluded to females only as it has also been shown to affect men albeit rarely.
Cervical cancer on the other hand affects the cervix and is hence exclusive to women. Albeit still common among women as compared to other cancers, it is less rampant owing to the strides made in the medical field. The relationship between breast and cervical cancer albeit each cancer affects a different part of the body, both come with certain similar factors which give them a unique relationship.
Preventing Breast Cancer
Preventing Cervical Cancer
Practicing healthy living and eating habits goes a long way in lowering the risks of breast and cervical cancer. Furthermore, early diagnosis also facilitates early and successful treatment.
Medicines To Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Prescription medicines can be used to help lower breast cancer risk in certain women at increased risk of breast cancer.
Medicines such as tamoxifen and raloxifene block the action of estrogen in breast tissue. Tamoxifen might be an option even if you havent gone through menopause, while raloxifene is only used for women who have gone through menopause. Other drugs, called aromatase inhibitors, might also be an option for women past menopause. All of these medicines can also have side effects, so its important to understand the possible benefits and risks of taking one of them.
To learn more, see:
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Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
If youre drinking for your health, think again. What youre doing is raising your risk of seven cancers, including liver cancer. One drink a day increases your chances of developing breast cancer specifically by as much as 10 per cent. Two drinks and you double it by up to 20 per cent.
A lot of women are shocked by that, says Dr. Julian Kim, a radiation oncologist with CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg. They drink a glass of wine to relax, and they think theyre getting away scot-free. Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen, which, like other hormones, delivers messages that control cell division in the body. Increased lifetime estrogen exposure is associated with breast cancer. Thats why getting your first period before age 12 and reaching menopause after 55 are risk factors.
Plus, when we metabolize alcohol, its converted into acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product that can damage DNA and interfere with our ability to repair it. There is no safe amount women can drink without increasing their risk of breast cancer, says Brown. However, the women who drink the most alcohol are at the greatest risk.
When it comes to another common vice, smoking, the news is surprising. Although smoking-related illnesses cause about 100 deaths a day in Canada and may be implicated in some breast cancers, smoking is not as strong a risk factor for breast cancer as it is for other cancers, notes Shawn Chirrey, senior manager of health promotion for the Canadian Cancer Society in Toronto.
Causes Of Breast Cancer
The exact cause of breast cancer remains unknown to doctors but has been linked to various risk factors that could increase ones chances of developing breast cancer. These factors include:
2. Positive History of Breast Cancer: For a woman who has suffered any type of breast cancer in the past, the risk of developing a new cancer is 4times higher than normal.
3. Family History: If a blood-line relative of a woman has/had breast cancer, she is also at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
4. Genetics There are some genetic factors of breast cancer that can be inherited. They are called the BRCA1, BRCA2, and HERS, and they account for about 10% to 15% of cases of breast cancers.
5. Age: As a woman grows in age, her risk of developing breast cancer also increases.
6. Reproduction History: Starting mensuration earlier than 12 years, never being pregnant, not breastfeeding, and late menopause after age 55 will raise your risk of breast cancer due to a pronged exposure to the hormone, estrogen.
7. Alcohol Consumption and Lack of Exercise also pose a higher risk for breast cancer than normal.
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Risk Factors And Risk Reduction
Cancer tends to be caused by a combination of factors. Some things we may be able to control . Others are out of our control and some are still unknown.
Since many factors affect cancer risk and we can control only some of them, we cant avoid some amount of risk. For example, the most common risk factors for breast cancer, being born female and getting older, are not things you can control.
Most risk factors for breast cancer that we have some control over have only a small effect on risk.
This means theres no one behavior that will prevent breast cancer. It also means theres no one factor that will cause it. Even a person with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 inherited gene mutation doesnt have a 100 percent chance of getting breast cancer.
Most people diagnosed with breast cancer are at average risk and we dont know which factors came together to cause the cancer.
Because the disease process is so complex, its hard to know how a certain set of risk factors will affect any one person. When we look at groups of people it becomes clearer.
For example, if we find theres a 20 percent decrease in risk of breast cancer in a certain group of people, we can predict there will be a 20 percent decrease in a similar group. What we dont know is which people in the group will get the risk reduction benefit.
Schedule Your Annual Mammogram
Starting at age 40, every woman should receive yearly mammograms. Although mammograms dont prevent cancer, they can find the disease early, which can increase your chance of survival and give you more options for treatment. Breast cancer detected early, when its still localized in the breast, has a survival rate of up to 99%.
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Our providers use leading-edge 3D mammography to produce clearer images of breast tissue from multiple angles, and we offer automated breast ultrasound screening for women with dense breasts. These technologies allow our radiologists to detect abnormalities more easily and, most importantly, potentially save your life.
Mammograms arent the only screenings women need to stay healthy and avoid cancer.
Find out which screenings you need by downloading our free guide, A Lifetime of Good Health.
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Limit Hormone Replacement Therapy
While hormone replacement therapy with estrogen for women going through and after menopause used to be considered somewhat standard treatment, it is now much more of a personal decision.
That decision is between a woman and her doctor and depends on her personal experience with menopause. Overall, if HRT is used, the goal is to reduce the amount of hormone dose and the length of time women do use it, Dr. Kakkis explains.
“We’re trying to overcome a period of time when all women were put on it,” she says. Usage should be customized for each individual, Dr. Kakkis notes. “Not all women need it and women who do need it don’t need it very long.”
Ways To Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer. Just reading those words can make many women worry. And thats natural.
Nearly everyone knows someone touched by the disease.
But there is a lot of good news about breast cancer these days. Treatments keep getting better, and we know more than ever about ways to prevent the disease. These eight simple steps can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Not every one applies to every woman, but together they can have a big impact.
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What Is Risk Reduction
Every day, we take steps to prevent unwanted events from happening. For example, we brush our teeth to prevent cavities. However, even if we brush our teeth, we can still get cavities.
We do what we can to improve our chances of a good outcome, but we dont always have complete control. The best we can do is lower our risk.
In the health setting, prevention mainly refers to lowering the risk of getting a disease rather than completely removing the risk. Since theres no sure way to prevent breast cancer, we use terms such as risk reduction and risk-lowering.
Take A Walk Around The Block
One of the best ways you can prevent breast cancer by is maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise, especially after menopause, has shown to significantly reduce breast cancer risk. Start your walking routine with a short, 20-minute walk each day, and increase your time as you feel ready. Work your way up to at least a 30-minute walk, five days a week.
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Can I Lower My Risk Of Breast Cancer
There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk. Many risk factors are beyond your control, such as being born female and getting older. But other risk factors can be changed and may lower your risk.
For women who are known to be at increased risk for breast cancer, there are additional steps that might reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
Tamoxifen And Raloxifene For Women At High Risk
Although not commonly thought of as a healthybehavior, taking the prescription drugs tamoxifenand raloxifene can significantly lower the risk ofbreast cancer in woman at high risk of the disease.Approved by the FDA for breast cancer prevention,these powerful drugs can have side effects, sothey arent right for everyone. If you think youreat high risk, talk to your doctor to see if tamoxifen or raloxifene may be right for you.
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Snack On Carrots Instead Of Chips
Obesity is a common breast cancer risk, and eating a healthy diet is just as important as exercise if you need to lose weight. Plan your meals and snacks to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean sources of protein, such as chicken, fish and beans.
Of course, sometimes it takes more than dietary changes and exercising to lose weight. If you struggle with weight loss, our physician-supervised weight loss program can help you achieve your goal weight.
Weight Exercise And Breast Cancer Risk
Being overweight or obese raises the risk of breast cancer. This is very important after menopause. Excess fat can increase the body’s estrogen levels. It is also the main source of estrogen after menopause. Estrogen can cause the growth of breast cancer cells.
Women who are obese after menopause are 30 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. Gaining more than 22 pounds after menopause raises the risk of breast cancer by 18 percent.
To find out if you are overweight, calculate your body mass index . BMI is based on your height and weight. Your BMI should be between 18 and 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. If your BMI is higher than 30, you are considered obese.
Exercise and weight loss can help women who are overweight or obese lower their risk of breast cancer. Obese women who are able to lose at least 22 pounds after menopause can lower their breast cancer risk by 57 percent.
Talk with your clinician if you have questions about your ideal body weight and your BMI. Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan or diet to find out what plan is best for you.
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