Vanguard (Lagos)

26 January 2013

Nigeria: Experts Blame Prevalence of Breast Cancer On Sedentary Lifestyle

Some health experts on Friday blamed the prevalence of breast cancer on the sedentary lifestyles of many women.

They expressed the view in separate interviews with the NAN in Lagos. They also blamed the disease on obesity, increased alcohol consumption and the growing trend for delaying motherhood.

Dr Madaki Ayuba, Head of Histopathology Department, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), said that people now ate more of processed and refined foods than natural foods.

Ayuba said, "People are also becoming more sedentary in their lifestyles and these are risk factors that make an individual, especially women prone to breast cancer.

"We eat more of processed foods, which are usually high in saturated fat and salt. The more fat in the system increases the chances of breast cancer because it increases a woman's level of estrogens.

"It is important for a woman to attempt to control her weight, particularly after menopause.

"Once a woman has stopped menstruating, her levels of estrogen and progesterone are much higher than they once were. Excess fat tissue may cause significant increase in her hormone levels."

Ayuba said that engaging in physical exercise would help women to reduce the risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy body weight.

Also, a Gynaecologist, Dr Gregory Michael, said, "due to the levels of estrogen decline during pregnancy, those who delay motherhood and consequently have fewer babies will be exposed to estrogen.

"The risk is elevated further because breast-feeding has been shown to protect against the tumours as it lowers the level of estrogen and other hormones. "

Michael advised women not to delay motherhood and to have enough babies to be breastfed. (NAN)

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