Among women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer after nonmelanoma skin cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer.
The National Cancer Institute reports that approximately one out of eight American women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. The degree of risk increases with age: 30 to 40 year old females have a 1 in 257 likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer but, by the time they are in their 70s, that probability has increased tenfold. Most women contract cancer after the age of 50, and postmenopausal women taking the hormone estrogen, even in combination with progestin, have an increased risk of breast cancer. In 2001, an estimated 192,200 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and more than 40,200 women were lost to this disease., recommend avoiding a high intake of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats. diet may affect the risk of developing breast cancerIn addition to genetic factors that determine how cancer-prone a woman is, factors such as previous breast disease, reproductive and menstrual history, estrogen therapy, radiation exposure, diet, and alcohol intake increase risk. Folate intake can minimize the detrimental effects of alcohol for some women. And there appears to be no basis to rumors that underarm deodorants and antiperspirants cause breast cancer. Certain cooked meats, on the other hand, do pose a real risk due to the presence of heterocyclic amines -- carcinogenic chemicals that form when cooking meats such as beef, pork, fowl and fish. Additional studies, concluding that
Although there is contradictory information about the impact of second hand smoke, avoiding exposure to it, as well as radiation (such as x-rays produce), is generally believed to decrease the likelihood of breast cancer. A link between breast cancer and airborne toxins/industrial wastehas long been suspected, but there have not yet been enough studies to undeniably prove the connection. Yet, according to a 1989 study published in Archives of Environmental Health, breast cancer rates were higher in the 339 counties with hazardous waste sites and groundwater contamination than in counties that had no such sites.Actions, Information & Opportunities to Help
There are many websites -- both comprehensive and single-issue -- dedicated to informing and analyzing issues related to breast cancer. Also listed below are resources that offer help, theoretical sociological works, cultural studies and multiple published news articles and campaign information pieces.
- National Cancer Institute (NCI) - Breast Cancer Home Page
- NCI - clinical trial-related information about breast cancer
- Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool
- The business of breast cancer - review of "Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic"
- Personal Stories from Breast Cancer Survivors
- Metabolism of Environmental Chemicals as Breast Cancer Risk
- Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation - Grant Programs