I choose to look at breast cancer among white women. We always hear of different events focusing on raising money to find a cure for breast cancer but I have never really studied it. It turns out breast cancer is the most common in white females, shown in the graph above. Some common causes of breast cancer include being female, age, family or personal history, having your first child over 35 years old or never having children, getting your period early, weight, late menopause, and diet. I feel as many of these are either linked directly to family genetics or family adaptations. Diet and weight are usually due to different adaptations one has developed growing up in certain families. Breast cancer can be linked to a diet high in fat and low in vegetables. If someone did not grow up eating vegetables they typically do not make a change later in life and start eating right, or if they do the damage might already be done. A team from Oxford’s Cancer Epidemiology unit found that alcohol consumption, breast feeding and number of children (mentioned before, as well) also link to breast cancer. White women are more likely to drink more, less likely to breast feed and have less children compared to women in South Asian. All three of these factors can be grouped under cultural ecology. Cultural ecology examines how cultural beliefs and practices play a role in human and diseases. If someone surrounds themselves with people who enjoy going out for a couple of drinks after a long day of work they will usually fall into that habit as well. I personally have never heard anyone turn down a drink because it increases their risk of breast cancer. Similarly, people usually surround themselves with people their age, meaning they go through some of life’s milestones together. If none of your friends are breast feeding and you are unaware of the risks and benefits of it you tend to lean toward the decision not to breastfeed. Breastfeeding could also be influenced how your mother raised you and her view on it.
“Breast Cancer, Race, and Ethnicity.” WebMD. Ed. Arnold Wax. WebMD, 16 May 2012. Web. 10 July 2014.
“Breast Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 July 2014.
Paddock, Catharine. “White women more prone to breast cancer because of lifestyle.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 9 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 Jul. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270964.php>