Sunday, September 13, 2009

44 is the magic number

Apparently the number of breast cancer cases among females is going up among those being pregnant. A main reason for this, being stated, is higher age, today, for women when having babies then previous generations. This according to Swedish newspapers that is quoting an ongoing investigation being made by Karolinska University Hospital and the Regional Oncologic Center. I’m too tired and a bit sick from some flu to do a really in-depth investigation into these claims, but I hope someone else does it. However, only looking at the presented data we can draw some interesting facts. Bear in mind, I’m no doctor; I’m only looking at the presented data.

The survey have looked at 16 620 cases of breast cancer between the ages of 15-40 under a 40-year period (1963-2002), from which 1 161 was extracted as cases emerging under or during a period of 2 years after being pregnant. According to what we are being told the number have increased from 16 out of 100 000 to a staggering 37 during the mentioned period.

Firstly, if you got scared from those numbers or the headline in the papers, you should know that it’s very uncommon for females below 40y old to attract breast cancer. Less than 10% of all cancer cases are younger than 45 years old. In other words, the older you get the higher risk of breast cancer. This also states that the older you are when doing the nasty in order to produce an offspring; the more are you at risk. Not because of the child bearing, but because of the age thing.
I also read through the summary of the report and strangely enough, the number of cancer cases among pregnant females and directly after the pregnancy is significantly less than women at the same age not carrying around a lump in the stomach. Mm… why didn’t the news tell us that?

This, if true, is great news and if you wanna reduce the risk of cancer the report seems to suggest that getting and staying pregnant is the best remedy. Although it should be pointed out that it’s harder to diagnose during pregnancy, so there is a margin of error. However, we can state that even if there has been an increase in total, it is still better to be baking in the oven, then not. Or, in my interpretation, we need to fuck much much more.

But back to the presented numbers we can also conclude that the risk, 7 years ago, mathematically speaking, is:

37/100 000= 0.037%

This increase from 0.016% - presumably back in 1963

But couldn’t the increased risk be dependent on, oh, let’s say, better equipment? Better understanding of the sickness? Better trained doctors? Better information available? It is hard to imagine that we under 40 years haven’t developed some or all of this things into something better. Although, we are talking public healthcare, so one never knows… But I couldn’t find out if such things were included in this survey, which makes me conclude they were not taking into account, and if they weren’t; totally speaking, I would state that this concluded risk-increase is far less.

In other words:

If you wanna reduce the risk of breast cancer, get pregnant.

The increased risk, if my assumption holds, is not as big as we are being told

If you want to minimize the risk of getting breast cancer, better not go beyond 45 years old. So for you ladies out there at the horrifying age of 44, you might wanna start looking at euthanasia, otherwise you may die…

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