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Cancer in Women – Risks, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Saturday, February 04, 2012
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When reviewing cancer a number of factors may be responsible for its development. Some risks can be controlled or reduced. Choosing a healthy lifestyle and preventing exposure to environmental risks can go a long way in preventing the development of several common cancers.

Risks/ causes

  • Age - the risk for some cancers like breast cancer increases with age
  • Smoking is a major cause of lung, larynx,mouth and esophagus cancer. It also contributes to other cancers. Cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff have the same effect.
  • Alcohol consumption increases the risk of many cancers.
  • Unsafe sex can increase the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Exposure to sun for prolonged periods can increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • Family history- some types of cancers are genetic in origin.
  • Being overweight/obese- Excess fat is a risk factor for cancers of the colon, breast (after menopause), pancreas, kidney, endometrium, esophagus, and maybe leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Unhealthy eating habits: too much red meats and inadequate fruits and vegetables add to the risk.
  • Abortion may increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.



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User Comments

29 November, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Biopsy Of Recurrent Breast Cancer Can Alter Treatment.

According Dr. Eitan Amir, medical oncologist in the PMH Cancer Program, University Health Network, oncologists knew for over 30 years that recurring cancer can differ from the primary cancer, but till now nobody knew or thought this was important.
Latest studies shows that if treatment is modified according to biopsy results from a metastatic site, the survival rates of patients with recurrent disease which is different from the original tumor were similar to those where disease was the same.

20 July, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar A study by Dr Julie Sharp, of Cancer Research UK showed how alcohol and weight could influence hormone levels. Despite family history and age, women can still do a lot to help reduce the risk of the disease, such as maintaining a healthy body weight, cutting out smoking and cutting down on alcohol....all within her reach!

01 October, 2010 | Pallavi Sharma | Reply

Pallavi Sharma According to American Cancer Society, following tips could help reduce risk of cancers-

•Stay away from tobacco.
•Stay at a healthy weight.
•Get moving with regular physical activity.
•Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
•Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
•Protect your skin.
•Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
•Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests

01 September, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain According to a recent study carried out by World Cancer Research Fund, as little as thirty minutes of exercise a day can reduce risk of many cancers.
Another highlight of the study is that it is the total time spent being active that is important. Shorter bouts of activity like walking up and down stairs, gardening or even walking instead of taking bus or car will be just as beneficial as long as they add up to the same
Thanks and regards,
Kanika Jain

14 September, 2010 | Saravgit | Reply

Saravgit Well my cousin was an athelete and also walks a lot and yet she was diagnosed with cancer not very early stages and not end stage also . I wonder how it will turn out? She has had surgery and is under medication but not chemo.

01 September, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer and also protects against many types of cancer. The body's immune function and natural defense system is boosted considerably by moderate exercise practiced daily. Those who walk 2 miles a day have 60% chances of surviving cancer than those who walked lesser or did not walk at all.

01 September, 2010 | Kanika Jain | Reply

Kanika Jain It is a known fact that excess fat increases the risk of many cancers. According to a recent study done by Michigan State University researchers, the girls eating a high-fat diet during puberty, even those who do not become overweight or obese, may be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
This study again highlights the importance of following healthy lifestyle right from early years of life.

Thanks and regards,
Kanika Jain

09 August, 2010 | Geetanjali Kelkar | Reply

Geetanjali Kelkar Low cellular levels of protein called ferroportin is associated with recurrent, aggressive breast cancers suggests new research.. The research is still in its initial stages but may prove to be beneficial to detect cancer early on.

07 July, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Hello Manjula,
Many cancers have a genetic origin,but that should not get you unduly worried. Please make sure you have a healthy lifestyle and eat a well balanced diet with emphasis on cancer fighting foods to keep yourself protected. Do get regular screening tests done to detect any abnormalities and treat them in time. These measures will go a long way in protecting you from cancer.

07 July, 2010 | Manjula | Reply

Manjula Forgot to mention Mummy had Osteosarcoma.
Also a first cousin of mine died of uterine cancer.

07 July, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Manjula,

Some cancers are hereditary and genes too play an important role in determining it.

If there is a family history of Cancer it's always better to take every precaution to prevent it. After the age of 35, a women who has a family history should get yearly health check up that includes pap smear, mammogram, ultrasound screening along with the blood tests done. This will help in early detection if any and increase the survival rate.

Thank you for your query. Visit more often for updates on Cancer.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

07 July, 2010 | Manjula | Reply

Manjula Thanks Sangeetha,
Yes, I get my annual Pap smear and Mammogram done. But am more worried about my daughter than myself. I have heard that sometimes genetic markers skip a generation in manifesting any cancer?? Not sure if that is a myth.

07 July, 2010 | Manjula | Reply

Manjula My mother died of cancer - Could I or my daughter be genetically predisposed.

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