Risk Factors of Cancer in Women

Risk Factors of Cancer in Women

Cancer is a subject that strikes fear into the hearts of everyone, even the bravest. Colloquially known as the Big C, cancer, though an older disease, is as modern as many modern-day taboos.

Do you know that one in three women will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime? If this is true, why aren’t we talking about it? Perhaps, many dread talking about cancer because of the stigma associated with it, whereas others remain silent on the topic due to the fear of being judged.

Either way, not talking about cancer won’t stop the disease from spreading. In fact, the only way to beat cancer is to improve awareness. This way, your loved ones who are diagnosed with it will be able to pour their heart into you without fearing judgment.

Plus, spreading cancer awareness can help women identify early cancer warning signs and take necessary precautions. Given that nearly 300,000 women will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023, we’ve compiled a list of a few suspected risk factors for cancer in women. Limiting exposure to these may lower your risk of developing certain cancers.

#1 Age

Getting cancer at a young age is very rare. Women’s risk of developing cancer increases with age. Half of all cancers in women are diagnosed after the age of 50. Of all the types of cancer, females are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancers.

Inflammatory processes and the body’s inability to fight precancerous and cancerous cells result in cancer in women in their old age.

#2 Exposure to Cancer-Causing Substances in Personal Use Products

Changes in certain genes alter the way the human cells function, resulting in cancer. Some genetic changes are natural, but in other cases, they are the result of environmental exposures.

Avoiding exposure to cancer-causing substances is slightly a challenge because they are found everywhere. The air, the water, and the food- everything is loaded with carcinogenic substances.

You will be shocked to hear that personal hygiene and beauty products are also packed with cancer-causing elements. A pool of researchers has revealed that parabens, formaldehyde, coal tar, phenacetin, asbestos, and benzene are some ingredients linked with cancer.

What’s more awful is that beauty giants have used carcinogenic elements in baby powders, too. The first Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit filed in 2009 revealed that the brand’s talcum powder has traces of asbestos that causes ovarian cancer. No doubt, it took everyone by surprise.

A few years ago, researchers discovered that women who applied talcum powder in their genitals or other areas were at risk of developing epithelial ovarian and lung cancers than those who didn’t. Soon after, tens of thousands of lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson.

TorHoerman Law reports that baby powder lawsuits can settle between $100,000 and $1 million. Though Johnson & Johnson offered $9 million to settle around 40,000 lawsuits, this offer is yet to be accepted.

As such, you should always review the ingredients list before buying any personal-use product to ensure the formula is non-toxic. Doing your bit can save you from future trouble.

#3 Consumption of Alcohol and Tobacco

Did you know that women who drink three alcoholic drinks every week are 15% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who don’t? Experts estimate that each additional drink women consume on a daily basis increases the risk of breast cancer by 10%.

Besides breast cancer, alcohol consumption is linked with esophagus, throat, mouth, liver, and larynx cancers. Bear in mind that the more you drink, the higher your chances of receiving a cancer diagnosis.

The only way to reduce your cancer risk is to limit alcohol consumption. As suggested by the American Cancer Society, women should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day.

#4 Lack of Physical Activity

Your chances of developing breast cancer can increase because of a lack of physical activity. Even after recovery, many women are at risk of cancer recurrence if they do not indulge in some form of physical activity.

Indulging in physical activities doesn’t mean you need to run marathons. Instead, exercising daily for about 30 minutes can greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer.

A Final Word

Sadly, cancer will be the leading cause of death in the U.S. in the next few years. Even worse, it will be the top cause of death worldwide later in this century. Humans are living long enough to witness the ravages of this aging disease.

When it comes to genetics and age-related cancer, unfortunately, you cannot do much to control them. But external factors like exposure to chemicals and consumption of alcohol are in your control.

Making minor lifestyle changes like going for a walk daily can lower your risk of developing cancer. Also, regular health checkups are a must, as they can reduce the risk of cancer alongside other health issues.

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