Mammary gland is one of the most cancer-prone parts of a woman’s body. Because a high percentage of women develop this disease, all women are concerned, and many are chronically worried about it. Who is the most likely target? Is there a salvation? Is it really a death sentence for those who eventually develop it?
Myths and facts
- Myth 1: in most cases, it occurs due to genetic predisposition.
Fact: there is a genetic factor that creates a potential for malignancy, but in a small way. It has been discovered that genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, if mutated, create a basis for the proliferation of unhealthy cells in the mammary gland. Yes, they do, but only in 5 to 10% of cases.
- Myth 2: excessive weight blocks the formation of tumors after menopause.
Fact: obese post-menopausal women face an about 50% higher possibility of malignancy than those with normal weight. The myth arises from the fact that once ovaries stop working, they stop secreting estrogen, which, if produced in excessive amounts, boosts the growth of malignant cells. In fact, fat outruns functioning ovaries in producing estrogen by far. Therefore, weight problems can pose an even greater danger than late menopause.
- Myth 3: pregnancy causes the disease to recur in women who have been diagnosed with it at least once and undergone successful treatment.
Fact: there is nothing to prove that pregnancy can revive the abnormal processes in the mammary glands. Women who have been through it and are now planning to have a child should pass regular screenings.
- Myth 4: mammography puts you at risk.
Fact: mammography entails only a minor exposure to radiation and therefore should not be regarded as a risk factor. Mammography is not exactly the same as X-ray, which requires larger doses.
- Myth 5: if you are diagnosed with cancer, you will definitely lose your mammary gland.
Fact: not necessarily. It depends on the severity of case and the progress of the disease. Today, less invasive breast cancer treatment techniques (lumpectomy) are increasingly popular and effective. The earlier cancer is detected, the less likely you are to lose the entire breast.
What should I do to avoid it?
- Check how dense your breasts are. If you have dense breast, you may have difficulty examining or having your breast examined, because lumps and other changes will be harder to locate. Some doctors say that dense tissue is more vulnerable to malignancy. Have your breasts screened on a regular basis.
- Get up and take a walk. Get involved in any type of physical activity that can help you burn fat. Thus you will reduce your estrogen level and therefore the risk of cancer.
- How much alcohol do you take? There are a number of criteria, by which you can tell whether or not you have crossed the line and need to stop right now.
- Do you sit down every time you feel you have finished some work? There is scientific evidence suggesting that sitting increases your proneness to breast cancer even if you do exercise regularly. To reduce the risk, limit the time you spend sitting.
- Do not go for hormone replacement therapies. It has been observed that menopausal women, who take estrogen to compensate for the cessation of its production in ovaries, are more likely to end up with breast cancer.
- Pass a genetic test. You can get a clearer picture of your genetic susceptibility if you have your BRCA checked.
- Make sure your mammary glands serve their original purpose. Get married and have children! Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to lower the risk of cancer.
- When it is time to sleep, please, do so! Studies show that lack of sleep triggers abnormal processes in the body.
- Include more vegetable foods in your diet. Research shows that vegetarian women are less susceptible to breast cancer.
- Study your family members’ health records and have your breasts screened regularly.
Although there is no one-hundred-percent guarantee that these measures will prevent breast cancer, there are lots of things you can do to significantly reduce the danger. Stay on the alert and choose a healthy lifestyle!