Monday, July 17, 2006

Educating Young Women on Risk

In a study of more than 10,000 young women designed to assess knowledge of breast cancer risk factors, a study found young women more likely to believe in genetic risk factors than lifestyle risk factors. This despite the fact that lifestyle factors, including alcohol use, birth control use, diet and exercise are important factors associated with breast cancer risk. If you are a mother of young women, please talk to your daughters about the importance of developing healthy lifestyle choices. Some of the evidence points to these "periods of vulnerability" puberty being one, as times when lifestyle choices, exposures to toxins or use of hormones can have an especially harmful effect in influencing genetic expression.
It is hard to get young people to act preventatively when they feel so strong and invulnerable. But education is powerful and open discussion can be helpful. This study shows that our young women are not educated that their choices make a difference. Let's change that! If you want ideas about talking to the young women in your life, contact us and we will help you find resources.