“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world”, says WHO. It is an invasive tumour that grows in the mammary gland. Affecting both men and women, breast cancer occurs when the cells residing in the breast start multiplying uncontrollably due to mutation in the genes for unknown reasons. It can develop in the fibrous connective tissue present in the breast.
Breast cancer is characterised by breast pain, a nipple discharge, inverted nipple, a lump under your arm, swelling in the breast, peeling of skin on your nipples, etc. Breast cancer can be diagnosed with tests like mammograms and ultrasound. Based on the size of the breast tumour, treatment is advised. In severe cases, you may have to go through chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or surgeries including mastectomy, lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, etc.
There are various factors including alcohol consumption, early menstruation, hormone therapy, having dense breast tissue, and never being pregnant amongst others, that can raise your risk of developing breast cancer. Here, we tell you about some effective ways to reduce your likelihood of suffering from this debilitating disease.
Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol has been found to raise your risk of developing breast cancer by causing damage to the DNA in breast cells. It also increases the level of hormones like estrogen that is known to contribute to breast cancer if produced in excess. According to researchers in the field, consuming alcohol makes you 15 per cent more susceptible to get breast cancer than those who do not consume it at all.
Cigarettes contain cancer-causing substances including tar, nicotine, and nitrosamine. These are known to damage the tissue present in the breast. According to the American Cancer Society, heavy smoking can potentially cause breast cancer. Your risk of getting the diseases increases if you start smoking before your full-term pregnancy.
Maintain an ideal weight
Obesity has been linked to the onset of breast cancer. Excessive body fat can actually cause chronic low-level inflammation that can gradually damage DNA in the cells present in breast and eventually lead to breast cancer. Also, an increased level of fat tissue in the body has been found to be associated with excessive production of estrogen hormone that raises the risk of developing breast cancer.