Breast cancer awareness has come a long way, but it’s still a shock when a young woman is diagnosed with the disease. The fact is that 60% of all breast cancer diagnoses are women over the age of 60, but there has been a significant spike in the numbers of under 40 years old breast cancer cases. Breast cancer is now every woman’s disease. Therefore, women of all ages must be aware of the risk factors that might decrease their odds against breast cancer.
The risk factors of breast cancer are as follows:
Breast density: Women who have a high percentage of breast tissue that appears dense on a mammogram have a higher risk of breast cancer than women of similar age who have little or no dense breast tissue. Abnormalities, such as tumors, in dense breasts can be more difficult to detect on a mammogram because tumors often appear white.
Family history: A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases if her mother, sister, and/or daughter have been diagnosed with the disease, especially if they were diagnosed before the age of 50.
Alcohol: Studies have shown that that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk.
Reproductive and menstrual history: Women who had their first menstrual period before the age of 12 or who went through menopause after age 55 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Also, women who had their first full-term pregnancy after age 30 or who have never had a full-term pregnancy are also at an increased risk.
Long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy: Women who used combined estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapy for more than 5 years have an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
Body weight: Studies found that women who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk than women of a healthy weight.
However, preventative measures can improve the chances for breast cancer to be detected in the early stages, therefore making it treatable and curable. The American Cancer Society recommended that all women 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so as long as they are in good health. Women in their 20’s and 30’s should have a clinical breast exam by a healthcare professional at least every three years. Of course, the obvious of self-exams are very important for all women alike.
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for all insurance needs. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. So, we strongly advise to check with an insurance representative to address your specific needs. However, you can also contact us for any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of personal & commercial insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.