The 411 on Breast Cancer and Substance Abuse

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According to the Cancer Treatment Center of American one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, making it the most common cancer among women. Men are also affected at a smaller rate.

There are several risks could increase the chance of a person developing breast cancer. Even if you have some of these risk factors, it is not a guarantee and does not predict a person’s future. It is always recommended that you check with your medical doctors for more information about your conditions.

Health Risk Factors:

  • Women who choose not to have children or have them after 30
  • Women with an immediate blood relative, such as a mother or sister, who has had breast cancer are twice as likely
  • Women with a mutated BRCA gene
  • Women with less fatty tissue and more glandular and fibrous tissue
  • Obesity may contribute to increased fatty tissue and therefore increased estrogen levels
  • Women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer
  • Caucasian women are the most at risk for breast cancer. African American women die most frequently of the disease. Asian, Native American, and Hispanic women have a lower risk.

Often factors can also come into play, such as how much alcohol a person consumes. Specifically speaking, women who binge drink are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer compared to those who do not. One main reason this could be when one increased their alcohol intake, their levels of estrogen can increased, increasing the chances of breast cancer.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Please take the time to check in on your risk factors and talk to medical provides if you find yourself to be at a higher risk.  Early detection is crucial.

American Cancer Society –
National Cancer Institute –

By: Denise Bridges, Certified Prevention Specialist

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