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General Health : Lifestyle Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Women with higher education face higher risk for breast cancer
By Sue Mueller
Oct 14, 2008 - 9:15:29 AM

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Tuesday October 14, 2008 ( -- In the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the campaign organizers and sponsors want as many women as possible to know the risk of breast cancer in hopes that more women or even men may go to receive regular screenings for breast cancer.


The risk is not the same to everyone. That is why you are not going to do screening at a young age.   But how many people really know they are in the low risk group or high risk group remains questionable.


We'd like everyone who cares to know that a female's education level could be a major risk factor.   Many people might have never thought of that. But that is what a recent Japanese study suggests: the higher your education is, the higher risk of breast cancer you face.


The study led by Fujino Y. and colleagues at the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Japan showed the highly educated women were at two-fold higher risk for breast cancer compared to those with low education.


For the study, Fujino and colleagues followed 110,792 residents ages 40 to 79 between 1988 and 1990.   During a 13-year follow-up, 169 cases of breast cancer were newly diagnosed.


They found the risk of breast cancer in the women with the highest education was more than 200 percent higher than that in the women with the lowest education.


The researchers said even after lifestyle and reproductive factors were adjusted, the association was not significantly changed.    And the association was even more significant among the younger than the elder women.


The study was observational. The results by itself cannot explain how the education level affects the risk of breast cancer, particularly in younger women.   Breast cancer found in young women are often more aggressive or riskier than that found in the elder.


There are a few possible reasons that might explain why.   Highly educated women more likely work indoors, meaning they are less exposed to sunshine, earn a higher salary meaning that they afford pricey foods that are actually less friendly to health, have children at an older age or do not have any children because of their careers or years they spent on education, meaning that they are more vulnerable to breast cancer.  


The highly educated women could also more likely do office work and experience higher stress than those who do simpler work and experience less stress, which is another risk factor for breast cancer.


In the National Breast Cancer Awareness, once again we need to take protective measures to prevent the disease that kills more than 45,000 each year in the United States.   It is not the best interest of a woman to donate money to some organization for research on drug development.   The government has spent $20 billion each year and you have already paid your share.


Once again, breast cancer is a preventable disease and you should not wait to develop it and then treat it.   When you get it, you have a 25 percent chance to die within five years.   Be aware of the risk and get to know how to protect yourselves.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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