Christina Applegate and 30Something Breast Cancer
Beautiful and talented actress Christina Applegate discovered she had breast cancer when she was 37. While breast cancer is not a common occurrence in women in their thirties, enough cases occur to have the medical society take notice.
The website Ribbon of Pink points out that “some of the factors affecting older women are applicable to younger ones as well. They include:
- Genetic predisposition: Approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are a result of genetic mutations, most commonly in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Women with these mutations often develop breast cancer at a younger age.
- Atypical hyperplasia (A benign—noncancerous—condition in which cells look abnormal under a microscope and are increased in number): This condition increases a woman’s risk of developing cancer by between 4 or 5 times.
- Previous radiation: Radiation on the chest for a previous cancer, such as during childhood, significantly increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer (some reports say by 12 times).
- Menstrual periods: Women who began menstruating early (before age 12) have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. The same is true for women who go through menopause at a late age (after age 55).
- Obesity: Being overweight has been a breast cancer risk factor in some clinical studies. Fat tissue produces a small amount of estrogen, which can make your estrogen levels higher. This can promote tumor growth.
- Alcohol use: Excessive alcohol intake has been clearly linked to breast cancer, with women who drink two to five drinks a day having approximately 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer relative to women who drink no alcohol.
- Physical activity: While this one is still up for debate, evidence is mounting that women who engage in moderate exercise have their risk of developing cancer reduced by 18 percent or more.
The exact role of these factors in the early development of breast cancer is unclear, as cancer is often a culmination of several risk factors. If you were diagnosed at a young age, remember that you were not singled out…”
Living for today,