Breast cancer accounts for 22.9
percent of all cancers in women worldwide. American experts estimate that about one out of every eight women born
today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. A
woman's risk of developing the cancer increases as she gets older; age is the
strongest risk factor for breast cancer. A recent study suggests that
increased stress at work and a number of other factors elevate the risk of
acquiring breast cancer in successful professional women.
The link between job stress and
cancer was revealed by the 55-year study of
women who were in their thirties in the 1970's. Nearly 4000 women were included
in the study; the longer a woman held her job, the greater was the risk of
breast cancer. "Women who entered managerial occupations in the 1970's
experienced prejudice and discrimination due to prevailing cultural attitudes
that men made better leaders than women," says Dr. Tetyana Pudrovska, who led
men or women preferred to work for a woman because women were seen as
'temperamentally unfit' for management, which was consistent with the cultural
stereotype of the woman boss."
job authority was particularly stressful for women in the context of gender
inequality embedded in the occupational structure of the time, when women in
managerial positions often faced prejudice, tokenism, discrimination, social
isolation, and resistance from subordinates, colleagues, and superiors. We
believe that women are still facing the same kind of stresses, and therefore
the increased risk is likely to be there... today," concludes the researcher.