Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This is an article that I got from About.com
Top 8 Breast Cancer Risk Myths - Some Common Misconceptions
1. Myth: Antiperspirants cause breast cancer Not true. There is no research that proves that the use of antiperspirants can cause breast cancer. Some medical studies have been done on tissue samples from breast cancer patients, and in some cases, the chemical substance parabens was found, both in antiperspirants and in some tumors. But there is no clear link between antiperspirants and the start of breast cancer. Don't toss out your deodorant yet!
2. Myth: If breast cancer isn't in my family, I can't get itNot true. Anyone with breast tissue, male or female, is at risk for breast cancer. The risk is higher for women. Add increasing age to having breast tissue, and your risk also increases. If blood relatives have had breast cancer, then you have a bit higher risk than someone with no history of the disease in their family. Check with your doctor and review your family health history, to be on the safe side.
3. Myth: A diagnosis of breast cancer is the same as a death sentenceNot true. Breast cancer is more accurately detected and treated at an early stage, before it spreads, as compared to 20 and 25 years ago. Now, 80% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and who do not have any metastasis (spread of cancer) will survive at least 5 years beyond their diagnosis, and many live even longer than that. Even if the cancer has spread, new treatments and therapies can help improve survival rates and quality of life. Early detection is essential.
4. Myth: Only older women get breast cancerNot true. The risk of getting breast cancer does rise with growing older, but young women (birth - 39 years old) can get breast cancer. Between the ages of 40 - 59 the risk increases to 4%, and between the ages of 60 - 79 the risk is 7%. If you live to be 90 years old, your overall lifetime risk is 14.3%. Develop a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk. Your body is worth the extra work it takes to enjoy a healthy life.
5. Myth: Birth control pills cause breast cancerNot true. In the past, birth control pills used a higher dose of hormones to reduce the possibility of conception, but the hormone dose created only a slightly higher risk. Today's birth control pills do contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone, but the doses are lower than the old pills. The lower doses of hormones are not linked to higher risks of breast cancer. Consult with your doctor or nurse practitioner for their professional opinion on your use of birth control pills.
6. Myth: A high-fat diet causes breast cancerNot true. Despite several medical studies on this issue, it can not be proved that a diet that is high in fat will cause breast cancer. Excess body weight in the form of fat results in higher production of estrogen, in addition to that which your ovaries already produce. That extra estrogen may fuel some types of breast tumors. A diet that is low in saturated fats is good for your heart health (lower cholesterol) as well as your breast health (normal estrogen levels.)
7. Myth: Breast cancer is in my family and I can't avoid getting itNot true. You are a unique person, and your body is made up of a combination of inheirited qualities. Even if you are tested for breast cancer genes, you can still take control of several aspects of your overall health. A healthy diet, not smoking, very little alcohol, regular exercise, can all add up to a lower risk for you. Here are ten risk-reduction strategies to get started on.
8. Myth: Having kids and breastfeeding is guaranteed protection Not true. While it is true that having at least 2 pregnancies before you're 30, and breastfeeding your babies can lower your risk of getting breast cancer, it is not a guarantee of protection. However, to further lower your risk, add regular exercise and a healthy diet, don't smoke and drink very little alcohol. Have regular screenings and annual checkups with your doctor, to make sure that you have a baseline on all your critical health tests. You and your children are worth the effort!