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Topmost Cancers That Affect Women

  • Posted on- Mar 31, 2015
  • 4328 Views

Cancer- the name in itself can be demoralizing for you and your loved ones. However, understanding the risks associated with multiple types of cancer is the first step in reducing your personal risk.

More often than not, a cancer diagnosis is connected with an individual’s family medical history, living surroundings and lifestyle choices. Though, you cannot change your family’s medical history or environment. But certain aspects like lifestyle choices, eating habits, diet, weight, smoking, physical activity levels can easily be managed by you.

The odds are, that two out of three women will never get cancer but according to the latest CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports, close to 1 million women were diagnosed with one of the following types of cancer:

  1. Breast cancer accounted for 26% of female cancer cases and 15% of cancer deaths among women. 1 in 8 women is at risk of developing breast cancer
  2. Lung and bronchus cancers accounted for 14% of cancer cases and 26% of all deaths. 1 in 16 women is at risk of developing lung and bronchus cancer
  3. Colon and rectal cancers accounted for 10 percent of cancer cases and 9 percent of all deaths. 1 in 19 women are at risk of developing colon and rectal cancer
  4. Uterine cancer was responsible for 6 percent of cases and 3 percent of cancer deaths. 1 in 41 women are at risk of developing uterine cancer
  5. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer was responsible for 4% of cancer cases and 3% of deaths. 1 in 53 women are at risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer. 

Risk factors associated with breast cancer include:
  • Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are 55 years or older. 
  • You are at greater risk if cancer runs in the family. 
  • Dense breast tissue 
  • Exposure to radiation treatment. 
  • Unusual number of menstrual periods i.e. commencing before age 12 and stopping after 55 years. 
  • Having first child after the age of 30. 
  • Previous encounter with the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), commonly used to prevent miscarriages. 
  • Saying no to breastfeeding. 
  • Being obese, having a fatty diet and lack of exercise. 
  • Indulging heavily in alcohol.

Lung and Bronchus Cancer Risks
An astonishing 80% of all lung cancer in women (90% in men) can be avoided if they simply say no to smoking. Smokers are 20% more susceptible to lung cancer than non-smokers. Family history also has a role to play here. Other risks include:
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Radon gas
  • Arsenic, Tar and Soot

Besides, you can limit the amount of alcohol to keep lung cancer at bay.

Colon and Rectum Cancer Risks
More than 90% of colon cancers happen in women over 50 years. Risk factors include:

Uterine Cancer Risks
Also known as endometrial cancer, uterine cancer is linked with hormonal changes, especially estrogen. Risk factors include:
  • More than usual number of monthly periods. 
  • Failing to get pregnant. 
  • Being obese and high-fat diet. 
  • Use of tamoxifen for breast cancer (past or present). 
  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). 
  • Diabetes.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer Risks
This type of cancer attacks your immune system, weakening a number of internal body parts including lymph nodes, thymus gland, bone marrow, spleen, tonsils and lymphatic system. Risk factors include:
  • A depleted immune system. 
  • This cancer occurs in women of 60 years or more. 
  • Exposure to insecticides and herbicides and other chemicals. 
  • Autoimmune diseases.

Altering the way you live, which mostly involves diet and exercise habits can go a long way in improving your health and minimizing the symptoms of cancer. Additionally, supervision of an experienced oncologist is essential.