Well, the reason is evident – while you are working on a breast cancer essay, you increase your own awareness, as well as the awareness of all the people who are in the group, if this is a group assignment, or even in your entire class. Even if you don’t get a chance to present your research in front of the class, you still must acquire valuable information while doing the research to write the paper.
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Should Women Who Struggled with Cancer Have Babies?
A tumor or cancer is by definition a neoplastic process where abnormal cellular growth takes place and in which all the newly formed tumor cells are descendants of a single cell that gained the ability to replicate continuously and autonomously (Alison pt. 3; ch. 39).
Accordingly to World Health Organization (WHO), cancer, which accounted for 8.8 million deaths in 2015 (being the second cause of death globally) is expected to increase by about 70% in the next twenty years putting this question right before our eyes (who.int).
There are several types of cancer, and thus we cannot generalize but some previous studies on breast cancer and pregnancy concluded that “is possible for women treated for breast cancer and does not seem to be associated with a worse prognosis for their breast cancer although this evidence was not conclusive as some factors, namely the non representation of the entire population and the ‘healthy mother effect’ could influence the conclusions“ (Surbone et al.). A similar conclusion was drawn from women treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma, as “no significant associations between pregnancy outcomes and therapeutic approaches were found“ (De Sanctis et al.).
However recent studies have concluded that women treated for cervical cancer had elevated the risk of “preterm birth and low birth weight when compared to unexposed women and women with cervical diagnostic procedures” suggesting that “increased risk derives from the treatment itself, not from the characteristics” (Weinmann et al.).
Another study concluded that “women with a breast cancer history were at higher risk of delivering a preterm birth (PTB), low birthweight (LBW), and small for gestational age (SGA) infant, especially if they received chemotherapy or gave birth within 2 years of their breast cancer diagnosis date“ changing the prior paradigm (Black et al.).
Despite some controversy in the facts about cancer and pregnancy, scientists agree that further investigation is needed to address this particular question, but maybe we need to address it from different points of view, as scientific knowledge should pave the way but ethical questions should also be asked.
Alison, Malcolm. The Cancer Handbook. 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2007.
“Cancer.” World Health Organization, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/. Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.
Surbone, Antonella, et al. Cancer and Pregnancy. Springer, 2008.
De Sanctis, Vitaliana, et al. “Impact of Different Treatment Approaches on Pregnancy Outcomes in 99 Women Treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, vol. 84, no. 3, Nov. 2012, pp. 755–761. ResearchGate, doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.12.066.
Weinmann, Sheila, et al. “Pregnancy Outcomes after Treatment for Cervical Cancer Precursor Lesions: An Observational Study.” Plos One, vol. 12, no. 2, Jan. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0165276.
Black, Kristin Zeneé, et al. “Prevalence of Preterm, Low Birthweight, and Small for Gestational Age Delivery after Breast Cancer Diagnosis: A Population-Based Study.” Breast Cancer Research, vol. 19, no. 1, Dec. 2017, p. 11. BMC, doi:10.1186/s13058-017-0803-z.
How to Reduce the Risk of Having Breast Cancer?
Today, breast cancer ranks second after skin cancer regarding prevalence among women around the world. Unfortunately, the morbidity rate is growing every year, regardless of the women’s race or ethnicity. The most frightening in this disease is that breast cancer is rather complicated to detect in the first stages. Thereby, when a woman is diagnosed with this type of cancer, the tumor is already progressing. It is very difficult to cure, the treatment is painful and not always successful. For this reason, mortality from breast cancer is also one of the highest among other types of cancer. In view of this, it is essential to take all possible measures to reduce the risk of having breast cancer.
According to this year World Cancer Research Fund International analysis, the main factors that lower the risk of breast cancer were determined. Among them were the balanced diet, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining the weight norm, physical activity. A significant part of the diet is choosing the right foods. It is necessary to exclude foods that are high in fat and low in fiber, and avoid consuming foods and drinks that are high in sugar. To do this, one should eat less fast food and other energy-dense products, and replace them with relatively unprocessed energy-dense foods rich in beneficial vegetable oils. It will also be useful to reduce the portions. Increasing the diet share of grains and legumes, as well as vegetables and fruits without starch, will also have a positive effect. It is recommended to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day, and limit the consumption of refined starchy foods. Fruit of different colors, such as red, yellow, white, purple, orange, and allium vegetables, such as garlic, will be healthy as well. As for the meat products, a woman should consume less red meat and avoid the processed one. It is essential to reduce salt intake and minimize the amount of moldy cereals and grains in food. In addition, any dietary supplements negatively affect the diet and do not contribute to risk reduction. It should be mentioned that it is better not to drink alcohol for the prevention of cancer. If it can not be eliminated from the diet completely, it would be rational to minimize its consumption. It is still unknown how exactly alcohol affects the development of cancer in women and which women are more affected by it, but the restriction in its consumption is vital for women who have other risk factors such as cases of breast cancer in close relatives.
According to the research, such problems as obesity, overweight and weight gain increase the risk of developing 11 cancer types, and breast cancer is one of them. The maintaining of healthy weight will help to reduce the danger of having the disease. This is specifically immediate for the women after menopause since it is associated with the estrogen production in fat tissues. Regular exercising and a balanced diet should contribute to keeping a woman’s weight low within the healthy range. Generally, women need to avoid increases in the waist and weight gain during adulthood, however, excessive weight gained in childhood can encumber to do it.
The next advice is to maintain physical activity. A woman should dedicate to the moderate physical exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Fast walking or jogging can be good equivalents, but also exercises can be part of transport, occupational, leisure, and household activity. The small physical drills several times a day will be more effective than one long training session. Yet it is worth keeping in mind not only to exercise but also to rest after it, so as not to overwork the body and accumulate the energy spent. However, it is even better if one has an opportunity to exercise longer and more intensely. Also, a woman should not forget about the limitation of sedentary habits, especially with regard to sitting work, watching TV and cooking. It does not matter how much exercise you get, as sitting increases the chance of cancer development, especially for women. This will speed up the metabolism and spend the accumulated energy.
Breastfeeding mothers compound a separate risk group. According to the results of the study, to a large extent, the risk is not related to the number of children breastfed, although it was observed that prolonged breastfeeding led to a lower risk of breast cancer (Brinton et al.). If a mother is able to, she is recommended to breastfeed her baby for about six months. This implies the rejection of any additional food except for mother’s milk. Thus, breastfeeding contributes to the health of both mother and child.
Another important factor to pay attention to is the avoidance of hormone therapy. In the past, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was commonly used as a remedy against cold sweats, flashes of heat during the menopause. “But researchers now know that postmenopausal women who take a combination of estrogen and progestin may be more likely to develop breast cancer” (Simon). Only five years after the end of the course of hormone intake, the risk of breast cancer is reduced to the standard level.
In addition, it is necessary to remember the importance of regular health checks. Studies and screenings do not help protect against cancer, but they signal the appearance of threatening signs like polyps in the intestines or suspicious moles. Specialists recommend starting testing from the age of 20. Women need to do mammography every year after they turn 45. It is always better to recognize the disease beforehand and take the necessary measures than to miss the moment and cure with expensive and painful methods.
Considering all the above, it is crucial for women to be aware of the risk of having breast cancer and of the basic measures to prevent it. Of course, there are many other risk factors to be taken into account, but compliance with these methods alone will lead to a significant improvement in the situation. As the fight against this disease remains one of the greatest problems of our time and requires constant active strivings of the world community. Following the methods described here, women will be able to protect their health significantly. All these measures are simple to practice and should not take a lot of effort and time. Nowadays, a person can easily afford to monitor personal weight and diet, find time for daily exercise and training, give up on bad habits. It is not such a big payment for staying healthy and not to have such a terrible disease as breast cancer.
“Breast Cancer.” World Cancer Research Fund, 12 Sept. 2018, www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/breast-cancer. Accessed 7 Sep. 2017
Brinton, L., et al. “Breastfeeding and breast cancer risk.” Cancer Causes Control, vol. 6, no. 3, May 1995, pp.199-208.
Simon, Stacy. “Five Ways to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk.”American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/latest-news/five-ways-to-reduce-your-breast-cancer-risk.html. Accessed 7 Sep. 2017.