Your Hormones and Cancer
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If you are dealing with hormone struggles, then you already know how much they can affect your day-to-day life. From energy levels to weight, your hormones have a big impact on many factors of your life, especially when they are not in proper balance. What you may not know, however, is that hormone struggles can affect your body in ways you can't see. Those negative effects, when uncontrolled, can even lead to cancer. Here are some common cancers that can have hormonal causes:
It is not surprising that thyroid cancer is related to hormones, since the thyroid secretes hormones. Thyroid cancer is often caused by problems with the thyroid or the pituitary gland. The hormones that affect this cancer include thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
Thyroid cancer tends to affect young people more than older people. Two out of every three cases will affect someone under the age of 55, and two percent of all cases occur in children or teenagers.
Breast cancer occurs when the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are made in the ovaries, are out of balance. It is the most common type of cancer in American women, and it does not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.
Prostate cancer occurs because of problems with testosterone and androgen. In 2014 there were 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the U.S. This has now made it the leading type of new cancer cases in American men. While it can affect men of all ages, it is more common in older men.
Bone cancer, specifically osteosarcoma, occurs when the pituitary gland does not properly regulate growth hormone levels. Most cases of this cancer occur in people between the ages of 10 and 30, with the majority of patients being teenagers. Around 10 percent of the cancers occur in people over the age of 60.
Ovarian cancer, like breast cancer, occurs when estrogen or progesterone levels are out of balance. The organs and glands that are associated with this cancer are the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Around 90 percent of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are over the age of 40, with the majority of cases past the age of 60.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Cancer
If you are concerned about your hormones and cancer risk, consider lifestyle changes that can help. To prevent cancer, you should:
- Avoid tobacco product use
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Use alcohol only in moderation, if at all
- Aim for 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D3
- Take 6 aspirin tablets a week
- Get activity daily
- Know your family's risk factors and cancer history
- Use sun protection
- Have all screenings and checkups.
Your hormones are important, and for more reasons than you might think. If you are concerned about your hormonal health, contact a health professional today.
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