Today, it’s not uncommon to have a few friends, family members, or loved ones with cancer. Since over one-third of people will experience a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, making an effort to learn more about this illness is beneficial to anyone who wants to lead a healthy life.
But while cancer impacts both men and women alike, you may want to know which cancers are more prevalent in women so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent this disease.
Which traits should you be the lookout for when it comes to cancer? Are their certain risk factors you should strive to reduce? To answer these questions, you may first want to know what the most common cancer in women throughout the world is.
Below, we’ll delve into the types of cancer that are prevalent in women while outlining the symptoms and signs you’ll need to know to reduce your personal risk of contracting these illnesses.
Breast Cancer — The Most Common Cancer in Women
As a woman, you know that all of those pink ribbons worn in solidarity are of particular importance. Since 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re likely to personally know somebody fighting against this prevalent disease.
Breast cancer contributes to an astonishing 25.4% of cancer cases in women — meaning 1 in every 4 women with cancer has breast cancer. Fortunately, the commonness of breast cancer in women also suggests that women are more informed about breast cancer now than ever before.
Women today are widely aware of the symptoms that may alert them of breast cancer risks, leading them to seek immediate medical attention and a diagnose. Do you know the signs of breast cancer? Some of the typical symptoms of the most common cancer in women to be on the lookout for include:
- Abnormal lumps or nodes on or inside the breast
- Breast tenderness, redness, or irritation
- Nipple discharge
- Hardness, tenderness, or warmth in the breasts
While breast cancer may be the most common cancer in women, you can minimize your risk of contracting this illness by educating yourself on breast cancer awareness tips and by paying close attention to the signals and warning signs given by your body.
Other Cancer to Be on the Lookout for as a Woman
Unfortunately, breast cancer isn’t the only form of cancer women should be aware of when looking to optimize their health. Cancer doesn’t discriminate — meaning that there are other cancers besides breast cancer that are common in women, too.
What other cancers should you know more to ensure that you take the proper preventative measures? Below, we’ll examine 3 other cancers that are prevalent in women.
You may have seen commercials on tv that advertise new drugs that reduce your risk of contracting cervical cancer. But while you may be quick to switch to the next channel and disregard any information regarding this illness, it’s important to note that cervical cancer is a leading disease experienced by women throughout the world.
In the U.S. alone, more than 13,000 cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in women in 2018. As one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths in women, it’s worth paying attention to the health of your cervix to reduce your likelihood of contracting this illness.
Be sure not to confuse common female reproductive system issues with cervical cancer, however. If you develop any abnormalities in your reproductive organs, it’s best to visit with a gynecologist to rule out the possibility of cancer while ensuring that your reproductive system is healthy, too.
While breast cancer is more prevalent in women, lung cancer accounts for twice as many deaths in women when compared to breast cancer mortality rates.
What can you do to reduce your risk? For many women, the first step is to quit smoking. Since the carcinogens in cigarettes are strongly linked to lung cancer, you may want to put an end to any tobacco use. But women who smoke aren’t the only ones who are at risk for developing this leading form of cancer.
If you have any of the symptoms of lung cancer, such as shortness of breast, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain, reach out to your primary care physician for further evaluation.
While most women have heard of ovarian cancer, the symptoms of this illness aren’t as widely known. Common signs of ovarian cancer in women include:
- Pencil pain
- Urinary urgency or frequency
- Pain during sex
- Extreme fatigue
Do you have any other reproductive health complications that put you at a higher risk of developing this illness? Endometriosis and ovarian cancer are a prevalent comorbid disease in women that can often go hand-in-hand. If you have any worries or concerns regarding your risk for ovarian cancer, be sure to reach out to a certified physician for more information.
What to Do Next
So now that you know about the cancers that you should be on the lookout for as a woman, you may be wondering what’s your next step.
As is the case with any preventative measures, make sure always to prioritize your health. For you, this may mean making the added effort to reduce your intake of unhealthy foods while loading up the valuable vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. For others, it may mean cutting out toxic habits, such as excessive alcohol intake or smoking. Regardless of your current lifestyle, you should strive to maintain a healthy weight, work out often, and fill your body with healthy foods.
But ultimately, the best advice anyone looking to prevent cancer can take is to inform themselves about their risk and the symptoms they’ll need to know. When you catch cancer early on, you significantly increase your chances of beating this illness and enjoying a cancer-free lifestyle. Plus, you’re in a better position to educate your loved ones about cancer to ensure that they can stay healthy and vigorous, too.