This month of October, we’re joining the rest of the world to spread awareness around Breast cancer. Breast cancer is responsible for 124,119 fatalities in Africa and 26,310 fatalities in Nigeria as of 2018. Periodically, new information is dispersed as health care workers and researchers learn more about the disease. Here are a few breast cancer determinants to be mindful of.
Breast cancer risk factors
A “risk factor” is anything that increases your chances of developing breast cancer. Multiple risk factors have been found to influence this disease development. Although, sometimes people with several risk factors never develop breast cancer, while others with no risk factors do. Some of these factors include:
Age: The incidence of breast cancer increases with age, doubling about every 10 years until menopause, when the rate of increase slows dramatically.
Family history: In the event that a person’s mother, sister, father or child has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, that person has a higher risk of being diagnosed later on. This risk increases if a relative was analyzed before the age of 50.
Personal health history: If a person has been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast, they most likely have an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the other breast in the future.
Age at menarche and menopause: Early menarche (first menstrual bleeding), late menopause (natural stop of a woman’s menstrual cycle), and exogenous hormones such as those found in oral contraceptives or menopausal hormone therapy additionally apply a higher danger of breast cancer to users.
Dense breast tissue: Women with dense breasts (a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue and not much fat in the breasts) have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with fatty breasts, and the risk increases with growing density.
Certain genome changes: Mutation in specific genes, for example, BRCA1, BRCA2 PALB2, TP53, ATM, CHEK2 and PALB2 can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. People with these risk factors can pass them on to their children.
Factors such as these are beyond our control, but regular checkups and testing can facilitate early detection, alleviate anxiety and reduce fatality rates.