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Breast Cancer: What Are the Risk Factors and Symptoms to Look Out For

 

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women after skin cancer. It can occur in anyone with breast tissue, though it’s very rare in men. Only about 1 man in 1,000 will develop invasive breast cancer in his lifetime. Approximately 2,550 cases of male breast cancer will likely be diagnosed in 2018, and an estimated 480 men will die from the disease.

Breast cancer starts with a tumor in the breast. A tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that rapidly divide and grow. Most tumors begin in either the lobules (the glands that produce milk) or in the ducts (the tubes that bring milk to the nipple). Though it is less common, a tumor can also begin in the connective tissue of the breast.

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

The largest risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman: An estimated 12 percent of women who have an average risk of breast cancer will develop it at some point in their lifetimes. A variety of factors can increase that risk.

Age The risk of breast cancer increases as women age, particularly after age 50 and between ages 60 and 69. Approximately two-thirds of all invasive breast cancer occurs in women at least 55 years old.  Half of all cases are diagnosed after age 62.

Family and Personal History Your risk of breast cancer increases if you have close relatives with a breast cancer diagnosis. The risk is twice as high if your mother, sister, or daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer. If you have a personal history of breast cancer, your risk of developing a new breast cancer is 3 to 4 times greater, aside from any risk of the previous cancer returning. (2)

Genetics Women also have a substantially increased risk of breast cancer if they carry a mutation in one of two genes called BRCA, which are known to be linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

History of Radiation Past radiation to treat a previous cancer outside of the breast or to treat acne in adolescence increases your lifetime risk of breast cancer.

History of Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Use Women who took DES, a drug that was prescribed between 1938 and 1971 to help sustain pregnancies, have a higher risk of breast cancer. Those exposed to prenatal DES may also be at a higher risk.

Increased Weight Women have a higher risk of breast cancer if they are overweight or obese, particularly after menopause. The risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back) is also higher in overweight women.

Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding History Women have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer if they do not have a full-term pregnancy before age 30. However, breast-feeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, especially if done for a year or longer.

Menstrual History Women’s risk of breast cancer is higher later in life if they got their first period before age 12 or did not enter menopause until after age 55.

Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy These drugs increase the risk of breast cancer.

Drinking Alcohol Beer, wine, and liquor all raise the risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

Dense Breasts Women with dense breasts may have up to 6 times greater risk of breast cancer. Mammograms may not detect breast cancer as easily on dense breasts.

Insufficient Physical Activity Women who don’t engage in regular physical exercise are at an increased risk.

Smoking Tobacco use increases the risk of breast cancer when women are younger and premenopausal. Though the research is not certain, regular exposure to very heavy secondhand smoke may increase postmenopausal women’s risk of breast cancer.

Race and Ethnicity White women have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer, followed closely by black women, compared with Latina, Native American or Alaska Native, and Asian or Pacific Islander women.  Among women under 45 years old, black women have the highest risk of breast cancer and tend to develop more aggressive, advanced cancer than other diagnosed women under age 50. Black women are also more likely to die from breast cancer than women of other races or ethnicities, due at least in part to unequal access to care.

Environmental Factors Scientists are continuing to explore other possible risk factors that have weak or mixed findings in research. These include a low vitamin D level, light exposure at night (such as from shift work), and an unhealthy diet.

Breast cancer may also be linked to various chemical compounds in cosmetics, food, lawn care products, plastic, sunscreen, water, and grilled meats. Many of these chemicals are not avoidable, and it would take very high exposure over a long time for these chemicals to affect breast cancer risk. Research is unclear on how much or how little these compounds may increase risk.

 

Article Found Here:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/breast-cancer/guide/symptoms/

 

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9 Reasons Why Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance

9 Reasons Why Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance

 

You’re probably already aware that a parent with a job outside the house most likely needs life insurance to protect their loved ones in case something were to happen. But it’s not just breadwinners who need coverage—stay-at-home parents do, too. Here are nine reasons why.

1. To replace the value of their labor. Stay-at-home parents are caretakers, tutors, cooks, housekeepers, chauffeurs, and so much more 365 days a year. And all that work comes with a price tag: Salary.com reports that stay-at-home parents contribute the equivalent of a $162,581 annual salary to their households. If the unthinkable were to happen, a surviving partner would be on the hook for a slew of new expenses that the stay-at-home parent previously shouldered. Term life insurance is generally a quick and affordable way to get a substantial amount of coverage like this for a specific period of time, such as 10 or 20 years—often until you pay of your mortgage or the kids are grown and gone.

2. To factor in the contributions of any future income. Many stay-at-home parents return to the workforce once their kids are older. Life insurance could help bridge the gap that their future earnings would have contributed to their household.

3. To pay off any debt. From student loans to credit card debt to an informal loan from a family member, there are lots of ways to owe money. Life insurance can help settle any debts left behind so they don’t create stress for grieving loved ones.

4. To cover funeral expenses. Would you believe that the average funeral runs between $7,000 and $10,000, according to parting.com? And that may not cover the cost of the burial, headstone and other expenses. Many families want to honor a loved one’s memory, but have trouble finding the funds to cover all the costs. Fortunately, the payout from a life insurance policy can help cover final wishes.

5. To leave a legacy. If a stay-at-home spouse has a passion for a place of worship, an alma mater, or another nonprofit organization, life insurance proceeds can be used to leave a meaningful charitable gift.

6. To boost savings. Permanent life insurance, which offers lifelong protection as long as you pay your premiums, may offer additional living benefits such as the ability to build cash value. This can be used in the future for any purpose you wish, from making a down payment on a house to paying for college tuition. Keep in mind, though, that withdrawing or borrowing funds will reduce your policy’s cash value and death benefit if not repaid.

7. To guarantee insurability. Your health can change in an instant. Getting a permanent life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy means you’ll have lifelong coverage. Then you won’t have to worry if later on you develop a health condition that would make it hard or even impossible to get life insurance.

8. To receive tax-free benefits. Life insurance is one of the few ways to leave loved ones money that is generally income-tax free.

9. To give loved ones peace of mind. Losing a parent and partner before their time is already hard enough without having to worry about unsettled debts, childcare costs, funeral bills, and other expenses.

 

As you can see, life insurance for stay-at-home parents is just as important as it is for parents who work outside the home. Schedule a time to talk with an insurance professional in your community to learn about your options and get coverage that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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Lack of flood insurance heaps misery on homeowners slammed by Hurricane Florence

 

 The drenching rains and massive flooding caused by Florence are expected to inflict a high financial toll on homeowners in North Carolina and other states, as only a small percentage are covered by flood insurance that could help offset the costs of rebuilding their damaged homes.

 

The drenching rains and massive flooding caused by Florence are expected to inflict a high financial toll on homeowners in North Carolina and other states, as only a small percentage are covered by flood insurance that could help offset the costs of rebuilding their damaged homes.

An estimated quarter of a million homes in North Carolina are projected to be affected by Florence, which has caused flash flooding and record rain amounts across the state, according to CoreLogic, a property analytics company.

Estimates from insurance analysts and actuaries show an alarmingly high percentage of homeowners – both in coastal towns and those far inland – that are underinsured for a water-driven natural disaster as destructive as Florence.

Only 10 percent to 20 percent of coastal homeowners in the hard-hit eastern part of North Carolina, for example, have coverage through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and only 1 percent to 3 percent of homes in inland counties have flood policies, according to estimates from John Rollins, an actuary at consulting firm Milliman. Statewide, roughly 3 percent of the homes in North Carolina have flood coverage and 8 percent of homeowners are covered in South Carolina, Rollins said.

“Obviously, that leaves a lot of people uninsured,” Rollins told USA TODAY.

The numbers of those covered are low, he said, because people think that because their home isn't in a high-risk zone designated by the government that there's "zero risk" of a flood. "But that's not true," Rollins says. Many also don't realize their basic homeowners policy doesn't cover flood damage, while others overestimate the disaster aid they will get from the government.

Unfortunately, standard homeowners insurance won’t cover any flooding-related issues. The estimated insured losses from Florence are in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion, according to CoreLogic. Goldman Sachs, a Wall Street bank, said they could go as high as $10 billion to $20 billion.

Insurers should have no problem being able to pay out claims to policy holders because the industry has cash reserves of roughly half a trillion dollars, according to Matt Carletti, senior insurance analyst at JMP Securities.

The problem for homeowners is that insured losses generally are only about one-third of total economic losses, which puts them on the hook financially for a more sizable part of their home rebuilds if losses are due to uncovered flood costs, Carletti said.

To get flood coverage, homeowners must buy a separate policy. Most purchase this extra coverage from the government-backed NFIP program, which is designed to restore your home to its preflood condition and replace your possessions. NFIP policies, which carry average premiums of about $600 to $700 a year but can run into the thousands of dollars in high-risk zones, cover up to $250,000 for a home's structure and up to $100,000 for personal possessions.

Homeowners not covered for flood damage can seek federal disaster assistance in the form of grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration, said Steve Bowen, meteorologist for Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting division. FEMA may provide up to $33,000 in assistance for home repair, although the average for Superstorm Sandy in 2012 was about $8,000 and roughly $7,100 for Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

At the end of July, there were 134,306 active NFIP flood policies in place in North Carolina, Bowen said. That's only 3 percent of the estimated 4.62 million housing units in the state, he said, citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

Damage to homes caused by floods tend to be costly. The estimated potential loss for a 1,000-square-foot, single-story home with possessions worth $20,000 that is inundated with just 1 inch of interior water can run as high as $11,000, according to FEMA data, and the estimated loss for 5 inches of water climbs to more than $18,000.

Given the fact that many parts of North Carolina have received rain totals of 2 feet or more, many homeowners will be facing high rebuild costs they may not be able to afford.

“You are looking at a lot of homeowners that will have out-of-pocket costs that could easily be five figures, or more than $10,000,” said Cathy Seifert, an insurance analyst at CFRA, a Wall Street research firm.

 

Florence: Pets affected by the monster storm

 

 

 

 

Coast Guard FN Tyler Elliott, from Louisville, Ky., helps rescue one of fourteen dogs from a flooded home in Columbus County, N.C., Sept. 16, 2018.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/09/16/florence-and-flood-insurance/1327854002/

 

 

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