Becoming familiar with the common cancers which may affect you as a woman can help you prevent or discover them early. With all cancers, early detection is paramount in any recovery action or program.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer for women, but men can also be affected. Those who spend time in the sun are the most susceptible, but some skin cancers do not need sun exposure to begin or develop. Those with fair skin and blonde or red hair color develop this cancer at a much higher rate than those with dark coloring.
Breast cancer risks are more prevalent and elevate as women age – although it can occur at any age – except for skin cancers it is the most common cancer that affects women.
Some women are more prone to developing breast cancer than others. Knowing your risk and what can be done about this diagnosis is very important. Knowing you are genetically predisposed will enable you to make proactive lifestyle choices to reduce your risk.
When breast cancer is discovered early, it’s much easier to treat, with greater success rates. Early detection can be accomplished with annual breast cancer screening and mammograms and women 55 and older only need mammograms every two years.
Women at high risk for developing breast cancer because of genetic history or other factors should also have MRIs when they receive a mammogram. Be sure to report to you doctor if you notice any changes in how your breasts normally feel and look.
Uterine cancer is another type of common cancer in women. It begins in the cells of the lining of the uterus and causative factors can include beginning periods at an early age and obesity. Vaginal bleeding after menopause or bleeding between periods may be symptoms of uterine cancer. If discovered early, uterine cancer may be treated with surgery to remove the uterus, but advanced stages may require radiation or chemotherapy.
Colon or Rectal Cancer
Colon or rectal cancers are common cancer which may affect women. Women who are 50 or older and who have a family history of colon cancer, or problems with polyps in the rectum or colon, or inflammatory bowel disease, are more likely to develop cancer of the colon.
Obesity, a diet high in fat, smoking and a lack of exercise are lifestyle issues which can increase the incidence of women developing colon cancer also.
Another common type of cancer which can strike women is lung cancer. Women who smoke are much more likely to develop lung cancer than those who don’t, but all women are somewhat susceptible to this cancer. Of course, if you are breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke, you are also putting yourself at risk, as second-hand smoke is very damaging to healthy pink lungs.
It is believed that contact with HPV (human papillomavirus) is required to trigger cervical cancer, however, contact does not mean that cancer will result.
A large range of factors which can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer have been identified. These include having sexual intercourse earlier in life, unprotected sex with numerous partners and obesity. It’s also been stated that smokers are more at risk of developing cervical cancer than non-smokers.
Forewarned is Forearmed
Knowing the different types of cancers that can affect women helps you better understand what you need to be on the lookout for. Knowing your options and what you can do to prevent these types of women’s cancers is your best line of defense.
Getting all the information you can and taking the steps to reduce the risks, can save your life.
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