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Breast Cancer Prevention By Dr. Labib Riachi

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer affects women worldwide, it also affects men. The majority affected; however, is from the female gender. Doctor Labib Riachi, Specialist in Gynecology and Advanced Women Care, is here to educate you on the best preventive measures you can take to lower your risks of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, and the number 1 killer cancer of women. In the USA, the incidence of lifetime risk is almost 12%. So increasing age is the most important factor of breast cancer development. Genetic mutation may be a cause of developing cancer, but it does not compare to sporadic cancers in breasts. Sporadic cancer is cancer that occurs in people who do not have a family history of that cancer or an inherited change in their DNA that would increase their risk for that cancer. This type of cancer is affected by multifactorial environments.

The relative risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, having a female gender, as well as having radiation treatment for the thorax area or the chest with a pathology previously proven of ovarian cancer or other cancer-related organs. Pathology means the science of the causes and effects of diseases, especially the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes. It’s very important to know one’s family history also. 

Other relative risks, or risk factors that increase the chances of having breast cancer, are early menarche or late menopause. Menarche is when a woman starts her menstrual cycle at a very young age. The common denominator between these two risk factors is the ovaries. They are functioning more and having a period cycle every month. So a woman who gives birth to a baby at an age earlier than 30 will have fewer chances of developing breast cancer because the ovaries rested and were not functioning for nine months. The contrary applies to women who give birth at a later stage, they have higher risks of developing breast cancer. 

“The hormonal milieu” also affects the breast and risks developing cancer. The hormones excreted in women are estrogen and progesterone. The majority of breast cancers are estrogen-receptor-positive. A cancer is called estrogen-receptor-positive (or ER+) if it has receptors for estrogen. This suggests that the cancer cells, like normal breast cells, may receive signals from estrogen that could promote their growth. The cancer is progesterone-receptor-positive (PR+) if it has progesterone receptors.

The hormonal environment is a critical regulator of many physiologic processes, including growth, energy metabolism, fertility, and stress response. A wide range of well-documented diseases is linked to changes, either increases or decreases, in the hormonal milieu. Outside factors may affect the hormonal milieu, such as oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy administered after menopause, and hormones injections.

Our diet affects also our risk of developing breast cancer. A diet that is not rich in fiber, healthy fats, and such may cause you to develop breast cancer. Moreover, women who tend to exercise less tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer. Women who exercise around 3.8 hours a week are found to have almost 50% less chance of developing breast cancer. The conclusion is that lifestyle modifications are to be made to better prevent cancer.

Diagnosis and mammograms at the ages of 40 and above are incredibly important, for someone previously considered without risk. If someone has a family history of breast cancer, mammograms are conducted earlier than 40 years old. Ultrasound can help in depicting cysts and masses. MRI - Magnetic Resonance Machine - would be the best study, but mammograms are simple, affordable, and a tool to diagnose the early stage of breast cancer.

We hope that this article proves to be helpful in your or a loved one’s fight against cancer.

We, Mint Basil Market, have partnered up with Inspire Yoga and will be hosting an event on October 30th with a panel discussion featuring several health experts, including Dr. Labib Riachi. We would be honored to have you with us as a guest. Details of the event are as follows:

- LOCATION: Gate Avenue DIFC 

- DATE: 30 OCT

- TIME: 5.30 pm to 7:15 pm

- AGENDA: Panel talk followed by a YOGA class

- THEME: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We’d love to see you there!

October 25, 2021 — Mint Basil Team

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