(By AON KENYA) Before we get into the nitty-gritty of things, have you gone for a breast cancer screening yet? Also, Did you know?
•Men get breast cancer too. For every 100 women diagnosed, one man will also be diagnosed with breast cancer.
•Asian women have some of the lowest breast cancer rates of any group in the world, while the rates are highest in countries such as the U.S.
•Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than fifty. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
•Diagnosing breast cancer in younger women (under 40) is more difficult because their breast tissue is generally denser than the breast tissue in older women.
•Breast cancer has a much better prognosis in developing countries —around 1.8 percent, while rates in non-developed countries may be as high as 5 percent.
•Epidemiologic studies have shown that men who have several female relatives with breast cancer also have an increased risk for the disease.
•Seven percent of all breast cancer cases occur in women under forty years old.
Now that you have the facts firmly tucked under your belt, how about we do some myth busting?
Myth One: Young women do not get breast cancer:
Breast cancer is more common in post menopausal women, however, people of any age can get breast cancer. Women under the age of 50, make up 25% of breast cancer cases.
Myth Two: Breast cancer is preventable:
It’s possible to pinpoint risk factors, i.e. inherited gene mutations, family history, and then make lifestyle changes that reduce risks. However, breast cancer is not preventable and largely occurs by chance. Around 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer did not possess identifiable risk factors.
Myth Three: Plastic surgery causes breast cancer:
There is no relation between breast augmentation/plastic surgery and increased breast cancer risk. Breast implants can make mammograms more difficult. Women who undergo breast reduction surgery can see a decrease in breast cancer risk.
Myth Four: A dairy-free diet prevents breast cancer:
This is not true. There is no evidence to support this claim. Keep drinking milk!
Myth Five: Women with small breasts have reduced risks of getting breast cancer:
There is no known connection between likelihood of getting breast cancer and a woman’s breast size. Large breasts, however, may be more difficult to examine.
Myth Six: Wearing anti-perspirant increases your chances of getting breast cancer:
A small, inconclusive study saw parabenstraces in a tiny sample of breast cancer tumors. Some antiperspirants carry parabens, a preservative that has estrogen-like properties. More research needs to be done.
Myth Seven: A breast injury can cause breast cancer:
Any trauma to the breast does not cause breast cancer. The reasoning behind this is an injury can give prominence to a breast lump that could have been there already.
Myth Eight: Caffeine causes breast cancer:
No connection has been discovered between getting breast cancer and drinking caffeine. Some research shows that drinking caffeine may decrease risks.
Myth Nine: Breast cancer only comes in the form of a lump:
A lump can indicate that you have breast cancer, but women should also be aware of other bodily signals, like: swelling, dimpling, skin irritation, nipple/breast pain, a nipple that’s turned inward, scaliness, redness, thickening of the breast skin/nipple, discharge that isn’t milk.
Myth Ten: Women overweight have the same breast cancer risks as other women:
Obese or overweight women do have increase risks. This is especially the case for women past menopause and/or women that have gained weight later in life.
Myth Eleven: If you drink from a plastic water bottle that was left in a hot car, you can get cancer:
This rumor wrongly asserts that dioxins–a body of toxic chemicals associated with numerous health problems like breast cancer–seep from the hot plastic into the bottled water. Dioxins are not found in plastics and the sun’s heat rays aren’t strong enough to create dioxins
Myth Twelve: Soy products protect against breast cancer:
Soy bean products possess phyto-estrogen compounds. These compounds can bind estrogen receptors. In theory, such compounds could prevent estrogen and thus reduce breast cancer risk. However, two clinical studies have been administered and show no evidence of any preventative/protective effects of soy.
Myth Thirteen: A meat-free diet prevents breast cancer:
No epidemiological study shows a relation between breast cancer risk and meat consumption.
Myth Fourteen: Fertility treatments increase risks of getting breast cancer:
Given the link between estrogen and breast cancer, fertility treatments have been scrutinized. Other studies found such treatments don’t result in a high risk of getting breast cancer. More research needs to be done to merit or discount this.
Source: http://www.breastcancersociety.org; American Cancer Society