Awareness of breast cancer risks helps improve survival rates

Harold Mandel's picture
Chemo free after cancer treatment
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Although breast cancer can occur in women and men, it is far more common and feared among women. In order to improve chances of survival with breast cancer it is very helpful to study the statistics associated with breast cancer risk. There is an enormous emotional and physical trauma associated with being hit with breast cancer. To add to the anxieties of being a victim of breast cancer, new research shows a much greater incidence of another tumor in women who have breast cancer.

Medical News Today writes that the vast majority of breast cancer cases are seen in females. Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females. Breast cancer accounts for 16 percent of all female cancers and 22.9 percent of invasive cancers in women. And breast cancer is responsible for 18.2 percent of all cancer deaths worldwide, including both males and females.

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There are much higher rates of breast cancer in developed nations in comparison to developing ones. Increased life-expectancy in developed nations appears to be one of the key factors for this because breast cancer is more common in elderly women. Experts believe variations in lifestyles and eating habits of females in rich and poor countries are also contributory factors.

SINC has reported, "Suffering from breast cancer increases the risk of another tumor by 39%." Spanish researchers have found that women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer have a 39 percent greater chance of developing a second cancer in a different part of the body. It has been suggested by this study that the increased risk may be due to the similar risk factors associated with both cancers, or to the side effects of the treatment which is received by breast cancer patients. The results, which have been published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology, indicate that this risk is 39 percent higher.

The data from this study showed that women under the age of 50 who had previously suffered from breast cancer were about twice as likely to develop a second cancer than women in the general population. The risk here was actually 96 percent greater. In women over 50 years old, a second cancer was found to be 29 percent more likely. Furthermore, in the latter age group, the risk of developing an endometrial cancer was found to be three times higher if breast cancer had been previously diagnosed. Overall the risk of developing a second ovarian cancer was found to be about five times higher among young women who were diagnosed with a breast tumor than it was found to be among the general population. In both age groups there was found to be a greater risk of later developing a non-melanoma skin cancer.

There has been a dramatic increase in breast cancer survival rates in recent years. According to data from the Eurocare study, the relative survival rate at the five-year mark has increased from 76 percent in the period 1990-1994 to 82.8 percent in the period 2000-2007.It appears the data which have been produced by the study demonstrate that the number of women who survive breast cancer will continue to improve with time and that it is therefore necessary to evaluate the risk these women are being confronted with of developing a second cancer in comparison with the general population. Furthermore, an awareness that poor diets, a lack of exercise and obesity during the menopause in developed countries appears to be responsible for a greater incidence of breast cancer should alert women to work hard with their physicians to improve their lifestyles and dietary patterns.

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