Risk Factors in Breast Cancer

While there isn’t one predominant cause of breast cancer, researchers have found certain links to the disease. Smoking, drinking, family history and race are risks that can’t be changed, but they can increase a person’s chances in its development. However, just because you have several of the risk factors associated with breast cancer doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get the disease.
Factors That You Can’t Change
Exams, testing and fundraising methods can spread awareness and make it easier to catch at its early stages. However, there are certain risk factors that you can’t change such as autisms link to certain cancer genes. Breast cancer is most common in women than it is in men. As a woman ages, their chances for breast cancer significantly increases, especially after you reach menopause. If you have a family history such as a grandmother, mother, aunt or other blood relative, you may be at heightened levels for the disease to occur. Caucasian women have a greater rate of developing breast cancer than African American women. However, African-American women are more likely to die from it. Breast radiation early in life, menstrual cycles that start before the age of 12 and menopause after the age of 55 can also increase a person’s chances of breast cancer.
Lifestyle Choices
Breast Cancer Awareness Month and activities such as walks and runs can help bring awareness to the disease. Big companies such as Eggland’s Best have become ambassadors to the cause. In addition to helping spread the word by displaying the “pink ribbon” of hope on their marketable products, they’re also pledging donations to help with the cure. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help lessen your chances of breast cancer, but there aren’t any guarantees. You can adopt certain changes and precautions by minimizing your consumption of alcohol. As little as one drink per day can significantly raise your risk. That’s why it’s best to limit your consumption. Obesity and weight gain after menopause are other contributing factors that can lead to breast cancer. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can aid in a healthier and cancer-free existence. Studies have also shown other lifestyle changes that can put a person at risk include taking hormone therapy after menopause and birth control pills. Research has also shown that breastfeeding between 1 and 2 years can slightly lower a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. With the many do’s and don’ts, education, preventative maintenance and talking with your physician can prove helpful. If you fall ill to the disease, support groups, clinics and seminars can provide guidance, comfort, and the chance at a better life.
Disproven and Less Clear Risk Factors
There are considerable gaps when it comes to research and breast cancer. While studies are still sketchy about certain findings, they do raise some questions in regards to what causes it. One theory that falls into this category is antiperspirant. Deodorants work to help the body block certain pores that produce underarm sweat. The primary ingredient that gives researchers concerns is aluminum. Whether it’s rolled, glided or sprayed, aluminum in antiperspirant may also prove harmful when absorbed.You can do your part by choosing something natural or organic. Breast cancer has also been thought to be linked to certain varying hormone levels. In addition to menopause and birth control, abortion can disrupt the body’s functioning. Similar to cancer, autism can involve irregular cell growth. The gene found in those with autism may also increase a person’s chances of kidney, brain and liver cancers. Other unclear risk factors include breast implants, bras and chemicals such as pesticides, cosmetics, plastics and products for personal hygiene.
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TV Reporter, Writer, Breastfeeding Mama

AndiSilverman[1].JPGMeet Andi Silverman, mom of two and author of the new book, Mama Knows Breast. 
Andi shares why she decided to leave TV news to raise a family and how she turned the art of breastfeeding into a best-selling book!

Role Mommy: What did you do before you became a mom?

Andi: Before we had kids, I was a TV reporter for the CBS affiliate in Boston. I got there after years of working my way up the ladder, from small stations in Virginia and New York. And long before all of that, I was a lawyer. But that’s another story altogether!

Role Mommy:
When did you decide to reinvent your life?

Andi: I more or less decided to reinvent myself shortly before we had kids. I left reporting because I knew that I wanted to be able to spend more time at home. So I started doing independent video production, working with non-profits and businesses to create marketing videos. I still do some of this work and I love it. And of course, now, I spend most of my time promoting my new book, “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding.”

Role Mommy:
How have your children influenced your career path?

Andi: We have two boys who are 18 months apart. Right now they’re 3 and 2, and it’s exhausting. As I type this, the older one finally fell asleep; it’s 9:30 p.m..

The boys have had a huge impact on what I’m doing now. In fact, they are the inspiration behind “Mama Knows Breast.” When our first son was born, I realized that I knew more about my car seat, stroller and crib than I did about how to feed him. And I figured that if I felt that way, then a lot of other moms probably did as well. So I set out to write the sort of breastfeeding book that I wanted to read; the sort of book that I couldn’t find in stores.

Role Mommy: What’s your favorite “Time Out” tip for moms?

Andi: Get a massage. It’s self-indulgent, but oh so relaxing, and maybe more effective than therapy!

Role Mommy: What does your book offer new moms?

Andi: “Mama Knows Breast” gives new moms practical information in a light-hearted, frank and irreverent manner. There is everything from basic advice on how to hold your baby, to lifestyle tips on where you can comfortably breastfeed in public. The book also reassures moms that whether or not to breastfeed is a highly personal decision.

Role Mommy: What do you hope for your own kids?

Andi: I hope that our sons are confident and kind, adventurous and wise. I hope they have the same opportunities that we had growing up. And I certainly hope that the world they know, and pass onto their kids, can become more “green.”

Role Mommy: Who is your Role Mommy?

Andi: All of the women in my family (cousins, sister in laws, aunts) are my “Role Mommies.” Whether they work out of the house, or at home, they are my inspiration. I’m especially in awe of my grandmother who retired only a few years ago at the age of 85. And of course, I’m proud of my mom, who stayed home while we were growing up and then launched a new career as a major gifts fundraiser.

To find out more about Andi, visit her at NYC Momsblog or at her website, Mama Knows Breast.