October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And, there's no better time than the present to kick off awareness for breast cancer and to begin taking steps to become more informed about how the disease could affect you, your friends or members of your family.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PRWEB) October 23, 2008 -- Last year, over 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Next to skin cancer, it's the second most common killer in women. And, it's not restricted to females. In 2007, over 2,000 cases were diagnosed in men.
Breast cancer is called one of the "silent diseases" because by the time a problem is detected, the disease has already advanced. Most breast cancers start out as "benign" tumors, and represent 80% of all cases and are generally the easiest to treat. "Malignant" tumors are far more serious, and can become "metastatic cancer," damaging other tissues by traveling throughout the body, eventually affecting the bones, lungs, liver or brain.
The most common risk factors for developing breast cancer include: the female gender, advancing age, a personal or family history of cancer and having "breast cancer genes."
Other risk factors, that are directly related to the female hormone, estrogen, include early menarche, delayed first pregnancies, having no children and using hormone replacement therapy.
While there's not much that can be done about age, gender, family and personal history, or the genes one inherits, there are numerous things that can be done to lower the likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the best ways is to increase the consumption of fiber, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
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