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Breast Cancer by Meghan Ryckman

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When you read of cancer, you hear that the likelihood of being diagnosed with it is more rare than not. This isn’t entirely true, especially when it comes to breast cancer. So, what is breast cancer exactly? Breast cancer is cancer-forming cells that are found in the breast. This type of cancer is not only the second most diagnosed cancer but it is most commonly found in women. The chances for women are 100 times more than men!

Many risk factors are attributed to breast cancer. Most, we cannot help.  Again, as predominantly found in women, breast cancer cells can grow caused by the natural hormones called progesterone and estrogen.  Another factor out of our control is a woman receiving her first menstrual cycle at such an early age, usually before age 12. As a woman ages, her chances of developing cancer increase. In retrospect to an early period, a woman who experiences menopause at a much later age has a higher chance. These risks are again attributed to the amount of hormones, progesterone, and estrogen that are present in a woman’s body much later than they should be.

It is very important to research breast cancer with family history because this too is a factor of contracting this horrible disease. Many women diagnosed with breast cancer can sometimes find a history of family members who also had it. Along with family history, cancerous cells can be inherited. Although the mutated genes passed down from mother to daughter are cancerous, they don’t necessarily mean that they will develop into full-blown cancer.

There are a few risk factors attributed to breast cancer that can be altered or even taken out of the equation. Consuming alcohol and smoking tobacco products increase the chances of developing breast cancer. Another factor that can be controlled is having children. The older a woman is when having her first child, the greater the chances of getting cancer. Many women who have children at a young age have a lower chance. In addition, certain forms of birth control are a contributing factor to breast cancer. Research has found that the DEPO shot otherwise known as Depo-Provera, contains amounts of progesterone that promote cancer. Speaking with a doctor about alternative methods of contraception is best when avoiding the risks of breast cancer.

In addition to all the risk factors for breast cancer, it is very important to raise awareness of these cancerous factors and prevention. Many people with breast cancer could potentially have no idea they are living with it. Fortunately, we have many people and organizations that contribute in their way to raise this awareness of breast cancer. Every year, people join and donate to the Susan G. Komen marathon and fundraiser with the hope that a cure will develop.

From running in that 5K marathon to supporting your best friend who still has a fighting chance of getting that pink ribbon tattoo in honor of your late grandmother, many people are showing different ways of raising awareness. How are you doing your part?




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Mayo Clinichttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-cancer/DS00328/DSECTION=risk-factors

American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-risk-factors



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