Breast Cancer Myths and Facts
Can antiperspirants cause breast cancer?
A: You may have heard that chemicals in these products can get into your body through razor nicks and cause the disease. Here’s some peace of mind: Experts say there’s no evidence this is true.
Most breast lumps aren’t cancer
No need to panic if you find one on your chest. Many women have lumps caused by fluid-filled sacs called cysts or by a buildup of scar-like tissue. A new lump or mass that is hard, painless, and has rough edges is more likely to be cancer.
In the 14th century, breast cancer was known as Nuns’ Disease
Back then, the condition was so common among religious women, most of whom had no children, that it became known as Nuns’ Disease.
Women who have many children and get pregnant at a younger age have a lower risk. That may be because pregnancy reduces a woman’s total number of periods. Scientists think having more period-related hormones may raise the chances of getting breast cancer.
Do you only need to worry about breast cancer if it runs in your family?
A: No, anyone with breast tissue can get the disease, even men. But some things make it more likely. Breast cancer in your family — on your mother’s side or your father’s — raises your chances of getting it. You’re also more likely to get it if you’ve had it before. Most women have some risk factors, but most don’t get the disease.
What’s the main risk factor for breast cancer is it age, being a woman or hormone therapy?
A: Being a woman. One in 8 women in the U.S. will get the disease in her lifetime. Breast cancer is 100 times more common among women, although men can get it too. Age is another factor — 2 out of 3 women with invasive breast cancer are 55 or older.
Which is the best way to find breast cancer early, is it breast self-exam, MRI or having a mammogram?
A: Mammogram. Regular mammograms lower your chances of dying from the disease. The test is an X-ray of the breast. It can find cancer before you can feel it or have symptoms. The American Cancer Society states that most women should get one every year after age 45.
Though it can be uncomfortable, the test has a low risk of harm. The amount of radiation used is very small.
On the morning of your mammogram, shouldn’t you eat, use deodorant or bath?
A: Use deodorant. Some deodorants or antiperspirants have ingredients like aluminum that can show up on the X-ray image as white spots.
What else can you do to make the test go smoothly? Schedule the exam when your breasts aren’t swollen or tender. For example, try to avoid the week before your period.
What was the color of the first breast cancer awareness ribbon was it peach, lavender or pink?
A: Peach. These days, it’s hard to miss that pink is the official color of the cause. But the original ribbon was peach, and it was designed by a breast cancer survivor.
Charlotte Haley attached the ribbons to cards she handed out at supermarkets. She asked people to wear them to draw attention to the need for prevention research.
What can you do to lower your cancer risk – exercise, manage stress or… do nothing?
Here’s another reason to get off the couch: Walking, swimming, biking, and other regular exercise seems to lower the chances of getting breast cancer by 10% to 20%. Women who’ve gone through menopause benefit most from being active, but the American Cancer Society says 150 minutes of moderate exercise throughout the week is good for everyone.