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Women of all ethnic backgrounds are afflicted by breast cancer. Last year, over 212.000 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with breast cancer. Each year, over 40,000 American women die of complications related to the disease
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK - the disease is diagnosed in 42,000 women every year.
The chance of a woman developing breast cancer increases as she gets older.
The risk factors include age, family history, early periods, late menopause, hormonal factors, not having children, drinking too much, obesity and inactivity.
The risk of breast cancer is especially high for women age 60 and older. It is rare in women younger than age 35.
Many large studies have documented the benefit of mammography in the early detection of breast cancer. On average, mammograms will detect 80% to 90% asymptomatic breast cancer.
Women should have positive lifestyle choices in order to decrease the risk factors of breast cancer. Every woman should pay attention to the following factors:
- Decrease daily fat intake, limit red meat and eat leaner meats.
- Increase fiber in the daily diet. Eat more whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Limit alcohol because there is evidence that women who have 2 or more drinks per day have a small increase in breast cancer risk.
- Be active. Include moderate amount of physical activity (for example taking a brisk, 30-minute walk) on most days of the week.
- Maintain the healthy body weight suggested by a health professional.
- Stop smoking. Although smoking does not cause breast cancer, other cancers may spread to the breast.
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