Knowing and understanding risk factors linked to cancer is the first clear step in reducing your personal risk of getting any of the below types of cancer.
It is impossible to control your family medical history, (inheritance or defective genes)
However, lifestyle choices such as diet, activity level, weight management, alcohol, and smoking are totally under your control.
It is important to note that preventive health care measures are more often ignored or underutilized by people.
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that women may face in their lifetime. The risk scales up as you get older and it can occur at any age.Some women are at greater risk of developing a breast cancer.Every woman should be educated about cancer.Risk factors include age, family history, and dense breast.Breast screening is important for early detection of cancer when it is easier to treat.
2.Uterine cancer/ Endometrial cancer
Mostly occurs in women of age 55 and above years.
Taking of estrogen alone and taking tamoxifen for breast cancer can increase a woman’s chance of getting uterine cancer.
Having a history of infertility, early onset of menstrual period or late menopause increases this risk.Also, obese women or women with hereditary non-polycystic colon cancer (HNPCC) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop this type of cancer. Be alert for symptoms such as unusual spotting not related to the menstruation.
Colon cancer is most often found in women of age 50 old.People with polyps in their colon/rectum or inflammatory bowel disease or people with family or personal history are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
In addition being obese, taking high-fat diet, smoking, leading a sedentary lifestyle can also make a person more likely to develop colon cancer.
This type of cancer most often starts with a polyp ( it is a small growth in the lining of rectum or colon.) The polyp can be found through screening and removed before they become cancer.
This type of cancer can affect any woman who has been or is sexually active. Mostly occurs in women who previously have had HPV (Human Papillomavirus.) Women who smoke, have HIV or AIDs, how poor nutrition and who do not have pap smear tests are also more likely to get cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer testing should start at age 21 and women under 21 should not be tested. A woman who has had a hysterectomy (complete removal of uterus and cervix) for reasons not related to cancer should not be tested.
5.Non- Hodgkin’s lymphomas
It can show up in your lymph nodes, spleen, adenoids, tonsils and thymus glands; or bone marrow attack, the lymphatic system is part of the immune system.
Exposure to chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides, obesity, autoimmune diseases and a weakened immune system. Moreover if related to organ transplant or long-term infection can increase the probability of getting this disease. There are no known prevention methods, apart from avoiding diseases that cause immune deficiency e.g. HIV .You should also ensure you live a healthy lifestyle.
Women who have never had children or who had their first child at age 30 or who have unexplained fertility have an increased risk for this type cancer. Ovarian cancer is more likely to occur as women get older.
Furthermore, Women with a family or personal history of hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer or breast cancer and women who have ever used estrogen alone as hormone replacement therapy are at increased risk. Currently, there are no available good tests for detecting ovarian cancer but there are some tests that might be used in women with high risk of ovarian cancer.
If you experience these symptoms: abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, pelvic pain and a feeling like you want urinate all the time you should see a health care provider immediately.
Measures you can take to control and reduce the risk of cancer
- Know yourself, your family history and your risk.
- Eat healthy with vegetables and plenty of water.
- Protect your skin.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Get moving with regular exercise.
- manage your weight well.
- Get regular checkups and cancer screening test.
- Avoid tobacco.