Menopause can have a profound impact on a woman’s health and well-being. Changes in hormones, lifestyle, and overall health associated with menopause can put women at risk for certain cancers and other chronic health conditions. Understanding the link between menopause and cancer can help women and their healthcare providers ensure they are taking the right steps to stay healthy and happy.
Hormones and the Risk of Cancer After Menopause
The natural decrease in female hormones, especially estrogen, that occurs during menopause can put women at higher risk for certain types of cancer. This can include an increase in the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. While menopause does not directly cause cancer, women should still understand the increased risk in order to make informed decisions that impact their health.
Advanced Age and the Risk of Cancer
Menopause is often used to mark the beginning of old age. As women age, they have an increased risk of certain cancer types. This is true regardless of their menopausal status. Understanding the advanced age risks even after menopause can provide a better understanding of the cancer risks and how to address them.
Lifestyle Factors That Increase Cancer Risk
Changes in lifestyle and overall health can put a woman at greater risk of cancer after menopause. These include obesity, smoking, sun exposure, and heavy alcohol consumption. Knowing the lifestyle factors that increase the risk of cancer can help women reduce the risk of developing cancer during and after menopause.
Getting the Care You Need
The key to maintaining good health and reducing the risk of cancer during and after menopause is to get the care you need. Women should be sure to see their doctor regularly, follow lifestyle guidelines to stay healthy, and create an individualized health plan with their healthcare provider.