As medical professionals, campaigners, patients and survivors observe October as the Breast Cancer Awareness month, here are some things that need to be kept in mind regarding the ailment.
Causes and symptoms that point towards breast cancer risks:
- Family history
- Older age
- Menstrual cycle starting before 12 years
- Late menopause, with menstrual cycle ending around 55 years
- Having no children or giving birth after 35 years
- Having a history of breast disease
- Thick breasts, with fibrous and fatty connective tissues, ducts and milk-producing lobes
- Being very tall, since every extra 10 cm of height has been associated with a 17 percent higher risk of the disease.
- Some studies even suggest that birth control pills containing higher levels of estrogen can trigger breast cancer.
A rise in the number of breast cancer cases has been observed in India among women in to the age group of 30 and 40 years, as per statistics on breastcancerindia.net, the website of the NGO, The Pink Initiative.
Women in the United States are said to be the most affected by breast cancer. In 2016, 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer, 61,000 new cases of in-situ breast cancer and 40,450 breast cancer deaths are estimated by ww5.komen.org, a website that campaigns for breast cancer awareness.
Following are the tips for breast cancer prevention:
- Avoid smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Work out regularly
- Limit hormone therapy
- Maintain the right BMI
- Protect yourself from environmental pollution and radiation
- Get regular medical check-ups
Certain foods also aid in combating breast cancer. Here are some that you should include in your everyday diet:
- Green tea
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
- Orange-coloured fruits and vegetables like orange, carrots, bell peppers
- Berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
- Flax seed