Breast Cancer is the leading cause of death among women. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Despite this astronomical number, there are 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. Breast cancer rates among women are declining thanks to better treatment options, early detection, and widespread education and awareness. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant about examining yourself regularly. Although cancer is a disease that life insurance protects families from, it’s extremely important to know the early signs of breast cancer to avoid finding yourself in that position down the line.
While cancer is not preventable, you can still be proactive about your health and educate yourself on the risks of breast cancer. Have you ever wondered how cancer develops or why? It happens due to damaged DNA cells, however, we still do not know why these cells become damaged. Scientists have speculated that it could be a result of genetic or environmental factors, but most believe it’s a combination of the two. Some genetic factors that come into play when determining your likelihood of developing cancer include gender, age, race, obesity, family history, personal health history, reproductive history, genome changes, and dense breast tissue. Some of our most common lifestyle habits can increase the likelihood of developing cancer as well. Some factors include lack of physical activity, poor diet, being overweight or obese, drinking alcohol, radiation to the chest area, or hormone replacement therapy. This isn’t to say that you’ll get cancer if you do one or more of these things regularly, in fact, 60-70% of people with breast cancer have no connection to these risk factors at all, and other people with risk factors will never develop cancer.
There is so much about this subject we don’t know. Spreading awareness and educating yourself on the risk factors is the greatest thing you can do for yourself, especially if breast cancer runs in your family.