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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a breast tumour that grows in an uncontrollable, invasive way. For women, breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second most common cause of death from cancer. It tends to occur at an earlier age than other cancers or heart attacks and strokes. Breast cancer is extremely rare in men as they account for less than 1% of the cases.

No single trigger or cause has been identified for breast cancer. Though certain risk factors do exist that increase a woman’s chance of getting it.

  • age – it’s more common in women over 50
  • family history – it’s higher if a woman’s mother or sister had the disease before menopause
  • previous breast cancer
  • family history of ovarian cancer
  • age at pregnancy – it’s higher for women who haven’t had children, or whose first child was born after age 30
  • age at menstruation – it’s higher for those who started periods at a young age (under 12 years old)
  • entering menopause later (over 55)
  • having dense breast tissue
  • radiation treatment to the chest, especially before age 30

The increased risk of getting breast cancer associated with the above factors are often statistically quite small. In fact, for most women, the only risk factor they have is being over 50 years of age.

A suspicious lump in your breast should be checked by your doctor. There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of breast cancer, which include:

  • regular exercise
  • a healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables
  • reduced alcohol intake
  • avoiding smoking
  • and, if you are taking hormone replacement therapy, talking to your doctor about the risk of breast cancer.

If you have more questions about breast cancer, do not be afraid to speak with your doctor or your Pharmasave pharmacist! We’re here to help!