Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast cancer prevention is best even though Breast cancer survival post diagnosis is common since treatment has been improved significantly. Women in the USA found to have a small breast cancer have very successful treatments, but then in other countries they are not so lucky. If you live in Uganda you have a 56% chance of dying of the disease but in the US the rate of mortality is about 20%. Estrogen is the most likely cause of breast cancer. It’s probably some sort of combination of genetics, exposure, diet, childbearing factors, and hormones that ultimately causes breast cancer. Delaying when you have children, not breastfeeding, being obese after menopause, and excessively drinking alcohol all increases your breast cancer risk. It may not be blood levels of estrogen, progesterone or testosterone, but the local levels of estrogen in the breast tissue itself. Regardless of whether its the blood levels or the local levels, it is the hormone estrogen that is the root cause of most cancers. Progesterone has been linked with cause as well. We can reduce the rate of breast cancer in an individual if we reduce her estrogen exposure. For some women this means avoiding hormone treatments, for others it means using medication to lower those hormone levels. You can lower your body estrogen level by taking medications such as tamoxifen or raloxifene that might reduce a high risk woman's chance of ever getting a breast cancer by over 50%. Aromatase inhibitors will lower systemic estrogen even further. And now in a new study that backs up the dietary links with hormone levels and breast cancer risk, which was presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium diabetes is independently associated with breast cancer risk. In fact women in menopause with Type 2 Diabetes were 27% more likely to have breast cancer. They weren't sure why, the breast cancer rates were not directly linked to sugar or insulin blood tests. Being obese, and not exercising was a key factor in the increase risk of breast cancer in diabetics.  They had it down to a 14 kg increased weight was equal to 10% increased breast cancer risk! The newest information shows that your breast cancer risk is also tied to your gut bacteria levels. It's a complex topic, and one that you and your gyno will have to gab about. But too many cancers that could have been prevented are still occurring, and if diabetes and obesity are a cause, get with your gyno and get a handle on your handles!

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