Saturday, 7 July 2007

Women with dense breast tissue face increased cancer risk

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Of all forms of cancer, I personally find breast cancer the scariest because not only does it mainly affect women, but it is also the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in Canada and the United States. Excluding skin cancers, breast cancer is actually the most common form of the disease in women across the globe.

There are also so many risk factors that women have to consider, it almost makes it seem impossible for anyone to not get the disease. One of the newest potential causes being discussed is the density of breast tissue. According to this article, breasts are made up of both fatty and ductal tissue, and the more dense ductal tissue in the breast, the higher the risk of developing the disease.

The piece says that until recently it was believed that it was just harder to find tumors within the dense tissue, but a recent study found that women with more ductal tissue were actually five times more likely to develop breast cancer than those with little or none of the tissue.

Since there's not a lot that you can do about this, or many of the other risk factors (first menstruation before age 12, having children after age 30, genetics, etc), the best defense is to make sure you get a breast exam during your yearly check-up and begin getting yearly mammograms after age 50.

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