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23.10.2007 Health

Delayed Pregnancy Can Cause Breast Cancer — Dr. Boadi

By Daily Guide

Dr. Bernison Boadi, a Resident Surgeon at the Department of Surgery at the 37 Military Hospital has stated that women who become pregnant after the age of 30 are more prone to develop breast cancer than those who do not.

“The person who takes her first seed at say, the age of 35 is likely to develop breast cancer than the one who becomes pregnant at age 25,” he told HEALTH MATTERS in an interview on Friday, October 19.

He said though there are no specific causes of breast cancer, the regular exposure of the breast to radiations, delay in becoming pregnant, family history and untreated non-painful lumps in the breast are risk factors of the disease.

Breast Cancer, he said, mostly affects women but men sometimes develop cancer of the breast if the necessary preventive measures are ignored.

According to him, breast cancer is common among above-40-year-old women who fail to go for the mandatory breast examination exercise, adding that it is mandatory for women who have attained age 40 to go for regular breast examination so as to prevent breast cancer.

Those who have not attained 40 years, he explained, could do both the monthly individual and the routine medical breast examinations.

He further explained that breast cancers could result in serious complications if they are left unattended to, stressing that surgical operations are usually carried out on the affected person.

Dr. Boadi said though it is normal for one to experience painful breast lumps during menstrual periods, non-painful lumps should be taken seriously because most of such lumps (non-painful ones) can become cancerous and should therefore be taken for medical examination and possible treatment.

Cancerous lumps, he noted, grow faster and are usually not painful, hence, the need for them to be taken seriously.

The Medical Doctor called on women to at least visit the nearest healthcare centre either bi-annually or annually to have their breasts examined to prevent breast cancer.

The good news however, is that researchers have established that certain foods when consumed regularly, can prevent breast cancer. Please read on:

What To Eat
Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that's believed to have anti-cancer properties. Aim for two to three servings a week.

Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are powerful cancer fighters and appear to contain chemicals that turn on your body's natural detox enzymes. Eat them raw or slightly steamed (cooking breaks down the protective chemicals). Shoot for five servings a week.

Berries: The more colorful, the better! These fruits are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage, and strawberries and raspberries contain ellagaic acid, which has been shown to protect against breast cancer in lab studies. Sneak these in whenever you can...toss some in your smoothie or even have some with dessert.

Whole grains: Low fat sources of fiber, such as quinoa, unbuttered popcorn and cereals like All-Bran and Fiber One, may regulate your levels of estrogen and insulin, two hormones that both have been linked to breast cancer. Aim for 25 grams per day.

What to Watch
Red meat: You don't have to forgo the occasional burger, but eating more than 1.5 servings of red meat per day can nearly double the chances of developing breast cancer. Limit your intake to three servings of lean cuts (such as filet mignon, flank steak or sirloin) a week or fewer.

Alcohol: Consuming as few as two serves of alcoholic drinks a day may increase breast cancer risk by 20 percent, possibly by raising estrogen levels. There's nothing wrong with having some wine with dinner, but it's safest to average no more than one drink a day.

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