This article is in continuation of the previous topic, which describes the top cancers that affect women and may subsequently lead to death. The risk factors related to these cancers are also discussed here, because by taking the appropriate preventative measures these cancers can often be avoided, or with the required screening they can be detected earlier, thus saving lives. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the associated risk factors for these common cancers that affect the health of women.

 

The top cancers affecting women are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

 

Having discussed breast, lung, and colon cancer, let us educate ourselves in detail about the others.

 

  • Uterine cancer

Uterine cancer is also referred to as endometrial cancer and is the cancer of the endometrium—that is, the lining of the uterus. It is the most commonly occurring cancer of the reproductive organs and is found to occur more often than ovarian cancer or cervical cancer. The factors that increase the risk of developing uterine cancer include:

  • Hormonal changes in the body, especially an increase in the estrogen level, which uterine cancer feeds on
  • Consuming estrogen, especially after menopause
  • Taking pills for birth control
  • Having a higher number of menstrual cycles in the span of a lifetime
  • Never experiencing pregnancy
  • Having used tamoxifen for treatment of breast cancer in the past or presently
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Presence of tumors in the ovary or suffering from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Consuming a diet that is high in terms of calories and fat
  • Suffering from diabetes
  • Older age also makes one vulnerable to the disease
  • Family history of uterine cancer or even cancer of the colon
  • Having personally suffered from ovarian cancer or breast cancer in the past
  • Having a thicker uterine lining, termed as endometrial hyperplasia, also increases the risk

 

All of these factors increase the chances of uterine cancer, whereas using intrauterine devices for birth control decreases the chances.

 

  • Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is due to hormones and accounts for five percent of the various occurring cancers and for three percent of deaths caused due to cancer. Because they are hormonal, most of the risk factors for thyroid cancer cannot be prevented, but it is better to be aware of the risks:

  • Being a female is itself a potential risk for this cancer
  • Those who are in their 40s and 50s are at greater risk
  • A history of thyroid disorders in the family, such as familial adenomatous polyposis, medullary thyroid cancer, Carney complex type 1, Cowden disease, and other types of cancers of the thyroid
  • Presence of mutational genes such as the RET gene
  • Consuming a diet that has lower amounts of iodine
  • Being exposed to radiation

 

Other cancers that affect women are cervical cancer and skin cancer. Occurrence of these cancers is lower compared to the other top cancers affecting women, but regular screening, a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and a nutritious diet can help reduce the risk of most of these cancers.