Diet, next to exercise, is one of the top two cornerstones of any healthy life. Unfortunately, healthy eating isn’t a way of life for many of our people. Food deserts, cultural beliefs about “good eating” and the day-to-day struggle of eating better contribute to our health’s demise. As our weight goes up, so does the increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The State of Obesity reports African American adults are 1.5 times more likely to be obese than White adults. Seventy-five percent of us are likely to be obese according to statistics. The numbers tell a powerful story once you break it down by gender. Eighty-two percent of our sisters are obese.
Research has shown obese/overweight women face a greater risk of breast cancer. With 82% of Black women suffering from obesity we can’t afford to stop the fight that threatens the livelihood of our sisters. A recent study linked obese/overweight women, poor dieting and breast cancer.
The poor diet this study is speaking of is quite common to the Western world. It’s everything we know and love: ice cream, pork, pasta, cookies, cakes, pizza, chips, french fries and any type of condiment with high fructose corn syrup. Obese women who consume these items are more likely to develop dense breast tissue, which is a risk factor for developing breast cancer.
Breast density can’t be determined by a self exam or your doctor’s physical exam. Getting a mammogram is your best measure of how dense your breasts are. BI-RADS (The Breast Imaging Reporting and Database Systems) reports the results of your mammogram. It contains vital information about the density of your breasts. This data reporting system breaks breast density down into four groups:
This is the most ideal situation to show any abnormalities or cancerous growths in the breasts. In this group the breasts are made up of mostly fatty tissue with little fibrous and glandular tissue.
The chances of detecting cancerous growths or abnormalities are still high in this group. Breasts still have a good amount of fat but less than the previous stage. There are a few more areas of fibrous and glandular tissue.
Trouble starts to happen in this group because the mammogram can’t see due to the evenly distributed areas of fibrous and glandular tissue. It’ll be hard to detect small masses of cancer in this stage.
Cancer is extremely hard to detect in this group because the fibrous and glandular is very dense and it blends.
BreastCancer.Org states that women with dense breast tissue are 6 times more likely to develop breast cancer. Detection for this disease is also stifled because dense breast tissue makes it harder for breast cancer to be seen on a mammogram.