Under 40? Here’s What You Need To Know About Breast Cancer

It is a myth that breast cancer is more common in older women than those in their 20s and 30s. The truth is, there is no specific age range during which this deadly disease rears its ugly head. While younger women do have the advantage of better immunity and the ability to stay active and healthy, an increasing number of women below 40 are falling prey to breast cancer. Keeping these cues in mind could help them stay aware and armed – poised for early detection and easier cure!

Breast Cancer & Birth Control

If you’re one among the millions of women worldwide who are ingesting birth control pills, studies show that your breast cancer risk could be 20-30 percent higher than women who don’t take them. Also be wary of birth control patches and vaginal rings as well as hormone-releasing IUDs. However, if you’re on birth control to sort out other health issues such as PCOS, consult your doctor on what to do. Moreover, birth control pills are thought to reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. So along with your dedicated healthcare practitioner, figure out what your needs are, and make a decision based on that.

Breast Cancer & Childbirth

In general, women who have given birth and have biological children are at lesser risk of breast cancer than those who don’t have children. However, women who have just delivered a baby have a higher risk of breast cancer for around 5 years after childbirth. This risk then drops with every passing five-year window, and is minimal after 20 years. Armed with these facts, plan your visits to your doctor regularly, to device a systematic plan to screen for cancer based on your risk level.

Breast Cancer & Breastfeeding

One study conducted by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer deduced that a woman’s risk of breast cancer reduces over 4 percent for every year that she breastfeeds. This can be calculated collectively over more than one child. What’s more, breastfeeding is also correlated with reducing your child’s risk of cancer later in life. While breastfeeding can be difficult and challenging for some mothers, and is in no way compulsory if you’re struggling to cope with it, try and seek help with a lactation consultant to see if it can be made easier, before you give up on it completely.

Breast Cancer & Menstrual History

Researchers have found a possible correlation between the incidences of breast cancer and menstrual history. Women who started their period before the age of 12 have a higher risk of breast cancer. With breast development and menstruation beginning earlier and earlier in girls with each passing decade, the time elapsed between this occurrence and a full-term pregnancy often results in exposure to estrogen and progesterone hormones. Maintaining a healthy weight, trying to eat organic nutritious food, limiting alcohol and banning smoking, exercising regularly are some of the steps you can take to counter this.

Consult Dr. Renuka