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Cancer prevention for women

Cancer prevention for women

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Cancer prevention for women -

The Pap test or Pap smear looks for cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. The HPV test looks for the virus human papillomavirus that can cause these cell changes.

You should get screened for cervical cancer regularly starting at age Several screening tests are available. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you. The Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography LDCT for people who are 50 to 80 years old, have a history of heavy smoking, and smoke now or quit within the past 15 years.

She shares her story in this video. When you get the results of your mammogram, you may also be told that you have dense breasts. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.

Too much sun can increase your risk. This video explains how to protect your skin from the sun. Syndicate this page. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to search.

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For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer.

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.

The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules.

Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.

Enlarge Anatomy of the female breast. The nipple and areola are shown on the outside of the breast. The lymph nodes, lobes, lobules, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are also shown. Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels.

The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless, watery fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels carry lymph between lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fight infection and disease.

Groups of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla under the arm , above the collarbone , and in the chest. See the following PDQ summaries for more information about breast cancer :.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except skin cancer. Breast cancer is second to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women.

Breast cancer rates in women increased gradually for many years until the early s and then decreased rapidly, coinciding with a drop in postmenopausal hormone therapy use. Breast cancer also occurs in men, but the number of new cases is small. Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers.

Risk factors include smoking, being overweight , and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.

NCI's Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool uses a woman's risk factors to estimate her risk for breast cancer during the next five years and up to age This online tool is meant to be used by a health care provider.

For more information on breast cancer risk, call CANCER. Besides being a woman, older age is the main risk factor for breast cancer.

The chance of getting breast cancer increases as a woman gets older. A year-old woman has about a 1 in chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the next 10 years, while a year-old woman has a 1 in 25 chance. Women aged 50 to 69 years who have screening mammograms have a lower chance of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have screening mammograms.

Screening by mammography decreases breast cancer mortality by identifying cases for treatment at an earlier stage. Women with a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative mother, sister, or daughter have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Women who have inherited changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or in certain other genes have a higher risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer caused by inherited gene changes depends on the type of gene mutation , family history of cancer , and other factors.

Having breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram is a factor in breast cancer risk. The level of risk depends on how dense the breast tissue is. Women with very dense breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with low breast density. Increased breast density is often an inherited trait, but it may also occur in women who have not had children, have a first pregnancy late in life, take postmenopausal hormones , or drink alcohol.

For more information, see Dense Breasts: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions. Estrogen is a hormone made by the body. It helps the body develop and maintain female sex characteristics.

Being exposed to estrogen over a long time may increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen levels are highest during the years a woman is menstruating. The following factors in a woman's reproductive history increase the length of time her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen and may increase the risk of breast cancer:.

Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone , can be made into a pill form in a laboratory. Estrogen, progestin , or both may be given to replace the estrogen no longer made by the ovaries in postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries removed.

This is called hormone replacement therapy HRT or hormone therapy HT. Estrogen therapy that began close to the time of menopause is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Estrogen therapy that began at or after menopause is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer and total cardiovascular disease, especially stroke.

The risk of breast cancer does not decrease after women stop taking estrogen. Combination HT is estrogen combined with progestin. This type of MHT increases the risk of breast cancer. Studies show that when women stop taking estrogen combined with progestin, the risk of breast cancer decreases.

Radiation therapy to the chest for the treatment of cancer increases the risk of breast cancer, starting 10 years after treatment. The risk of breast cancer depends on the dose of radiation and the age at which it is given.

The risk is highest if radiation treatment was used during puberty , when breasts are forming. Radiation therapy to treat cancer in one breast does not appear to increase the risk of cancer in the other breast.

For women who have inherited changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, exposure to radiation, such as that from chest x-rays , may further increase the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who were x-rayed before 20 years of age.

Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women who have not used hormone replacement therapy. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk rises as the amount of alcohol consumed rises. Early onset of menstruation, late onset of menopause, later age at first pregnancy, and never having given birth have been linked to an increase in estrogen exposure and breast cancer risk.

The following reproductive factors decrease the length of time a woman's breast tissue is exposed to estrogen and may help prevent breast cancer:. Tamoxifen and raloxifene belong to the family of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators SERMs.

SERMs act like estrogen on some tissues in the body, but block the effect of estrogen on other tissues. Treatment with tamoxifen lowers the risk of estrogen receptor-positive ER-positive breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ in premenopausal and postmenopausal women at high risk.

Tamoxifen is also used to treat metastatic breast cancer and to prevent cancer from recurring after surgery to remove breast tumors. Treatment with raloxifene also lowers the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

With either drug, the reduced risk lasts for several years or longer after treatment is stopped. Lower rates of broken bones have been noted in patients taking raloxifene. Taking tamoxifen increases the risk of hot flashes , endometrial cancer , stroke, cataracts , and blood clots especially in the lungs and legs.

The risk of having these problems increases markedly in women older than 50 years compared with younger women. Accessed June 8, Torres CGP, et al. Mediterranean diet and risk of breast cancer: An umbrella review.

Clinical Nutrition. Secondhand tobacco smoke environmental tobacco smoke. Accessed June 20, Products and Services A Book: Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. See also Breast implants: Saline vs. silicone Breast implants and cancer Evaluating breast lumps COVID vaccine: Should I reschedule my mammogram?

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