Friday November 15, 2019

Lifestyle Habits That Affect Breast Cancer Risk

Changing lifestyle habits, increasing work pressure and stress levels have left modern-day individuals with no time to pay heed to their health and one disease that seems to be emerging because of irregular lifestyle is breast cancer. So make sure you are keeping a check on habits that can lead to this disease.

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Pink Ribbon Campaign
Breast Cancer. Pixabay

Changing lifestyle habits, increasing work pressure and stress levels have left modern-day individuals with no time to pay heed to their health and one disease that seems to be emerging because of irregular lifestyle is breast cancer. So make sure you are keeping a check on habits that can lead to this disease.

Meher Patel, Director at DIVA, Centre for Breast Care (partner with cosmetic brand AVON’s #PayAttention campaign that raises awareness of breast cancer), says:

* Lack of physical activity:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
Yoga is also a good physical exercise. Wikimedia

Don’t be proud of being laid back. One of the main reasons is that excess weight causes the body to produce and circulate more estrogen and insulin, hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. It is crucial to keep your body fit at every stage of life continuously using all body parts to sweat out intoxicants that one consumes in this polluted, fast-paced world.

* Alcohol and smoking:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
Bottles of Alcohol, Wikimedia

The downside of relaxing in this modern world. The more glasses of drinks you down on the weekend, or packets of cigarettes you puff up, the more you are at risk of breast cancer. Also, for the night owls, it is advisable to find the right balance since irregular patterns of work, long hours and late nights are more likely found to be struck by cancer in the later years of life.

* Long night-shifts at work:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
representational image. Pixabay

After conducting a survey with 300 women-some of whom worked at night, some of whom didn’t the survey found that those who had worked nights for 30 or more years were twice as likely to have developed the disease.

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.

* Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and contraceptive pills:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
Pills, representational Image. Pixabay

Medical improvisations you don’t need! Avoid using the viral popular HRT or contraception tablets to abnormally treat menopausal symptoms and unwanted pregnancy.

* Overweight:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
representational image. pixabay

Start eating healthy and avoid eating out. Putting on weight in adulthood (after the age of 18) with those extra munchies and burgers, or being overweight after menopause can also lead to breast cancer.

Also Read:Effective Treatment to Protect Cancer Patients From Blood Clots

* Other causes:

A few other causes that women tend to overlook is the excess use of deodorants and perfumes, underwired bras, bumping or bruising of breasts, breast implants and abortions that can also be potential threats to breast cancer. (IANS)

Next Story

Health System Failure for Cancer Patients in Venezuela

Last year, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela

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Cancer
Cancer Patients are not just afraid of the disease itself, but they also fear dying because they cannot find or afford the necessary treatment. Pixabay

A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. But for 49-year-old Grecia Solis, the arduous choices faced by all cancer patients were complicated by the crippling decline of Venezuela’s public health facilities.

After her diagnosis two years ago, doctors recommended surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Before the oil-producing nation’s steep economic decline of recent years, those services would have been available free of charge or for a nominal fee at a state-run public hospital.

But trained staff, medicines and equipment are in such short supply at those facilities today that a public hospital was no longer an option. Instead, Solis was forced to borrow money from family and friends to pay for her operation at a privately run, for-profit clinic.

Her operation, performed in May 2018, cost her $500, a modest amount by U.S. standards, but a huge sum in Venezuela where hyperinflation has ravaged most people’s savings. With additional financial help from a sister in Ecuador, Solis was able to pay for the recommended eight sessions of chemotherapy, which were completed in December.

Solis’ story is a common one among cancer patients in Venezuela. Patients are not just afraid of the disease itself, but they also fear dying because they cannot find or afford the necessary treatment.

Last year, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela, although the nation’s health ministry has not produced official figures since 2012. The society reported 2,300 women died last year from the disease, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among Venezuelan women.

Cancer
A breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying enough at any time. Pixabay

Senos Ayuda, an NGO that supports breast cancer patients, estimates the number of patients are even higher, at almost 7,000 a year. And it stresses that treatment, medicine and doctors are becoming ever less accessible with the deepening of the nation’s humanitarian emergency.

The problem is part of a wider crisis in public health facilities. According to several Venezuelan doctors’ organizations, 73% of the country’s operating rooms are out of service or lack supplies and have unsanitary conditions.

A survey conducted by the organization Doctors for Health indicated that 90% of radiotherapy facilities are inoperative, 94% of health centers cannot take an X-ray, and 88% of hospitals have insufficient supplies and medicines. The Anticancer Society of Venezuela has reported that 80% of public radiotherapy equipment has been inoperative in the last year.

Solis says she is frustrated the government of President Nicolas Maduro does not accept that Venezuela is in a humanitarian crisis and has done little to address the problem, leading to avoidable cancer deaths.

Cancer
Since 2018, 400,700 women in Venezuela have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. According to the Anti-Cancer Society in Venezuela, getting an accurate numbers of patients is unlikely. Since 2012, the Ministry of Health does not offer official figures. VOA

Another patient, 58-year-old Algeria Dias, was diagnosed with a breast tumor in August 2017. She was able to afford treatment with the help of family, donations, some government help and the sale of the family car, but she says she now she spends every day “going from clinic to clinic, public and private, and see if they have the space or equipment I need to monitor my disease.”

For her part, Solis says she is running out time. She has until December to raise $5,000 to pay for more than 30 additional radiotherapy sessions to prevent the likely return of her cancer.

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“Cancer does not wait. Cancer does not warn and when you have it, it overtakes you. It hurts having the uncertainty of not knowing if you can say, “I am a cancer survivor,” she said. (VOA)