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We all know the meaning of a red ribbon which stands for AIDS. But did you know that a pink ribbon is a symbol for breast cancer? In recent times, breast cancer has emerged out to be one of the most common cancers among women and the second most likely cancer to take their lives.
According to a study conducted by an international consortium of researchers helped by Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, women in India die majorly of breast cancer than cervical cancer.
There are certain precautions which you need to take in order to save yourself from getting afflicted with breast cancer.
Breast cancer has several causes and its myth that it only happens if there is a family history attached to it. But, the truth is that most women are at a risk despite the fact that no one in their family had been diagnosed with it previously. The American Cancer Society study found that women who gained 20 to 30 pounds after the age of 18 were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer after menopause than women who gained not more than 5 pounds.
It happens due to the presence of oestrogen which promotes breast cancer as it converts precursors in the body into oestrogen, keeping the hormones in circulation even when ovarian production stops at menopause. Also, a study published in the American Medical Association had found that weight gain since the age of 18 or since menopause increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, except those who are using menopausal therapy. Thus, being over weight results in an increased risk of breast cancer.
Many studies have proven the fact that women who are in habit of exercising regularly have less chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those who have a zero activity level.
Women tend to decrease their risk of having breast cancer from 20 to 30 percent even if they spend only four hours exercising in a week. Thus, women should exercise regularly as it reduces the exposure of breast tissue to oestrogen and it can help in controlling insulin levels which also helps in the growth of breast cancer cells.
Alcohol may also raise the oestrogen level which is has an important role in the development of breast cancer. It may interact with carcinogens or inhibit the body’s capacity to detoxify them. The important fact is that alcohol consumption should be reduced to one drink per day and incase one does drink, then it’s important that they get enough folic acid in order to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
The intake of Vitamin D should should be increased in order to avoid breast cancer. This is because vitamin D acts as a protector against several cancers, breast cancer being one of them. Be it through exposure to sunlight or having food items containing vitamin D.
Also, women should avoid drugs which are taken to avoid miscarriage during pregnancy such as diethylstilboestrol as it exposes women to a bigger risk of developing breast cancer. Even hormone therapy can result in breast cancer.
About 1.3 lakh new cases of breast cancer are reported in India every year.
The prevalence of this disease is equal both in urban and rural set up. This disease can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage.