Wednesday, October 5, 2011
BREAST CANCER MYTHS
Myth: “It won't happen to me.”
Reality: According to the American Cancer Society, 230,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women this year, and an estimated 39,520 breast cancer deaths are expected. The chance of a woman having breast cancer some time during her life is about one in eight. The vast majority of these women will have “no special risk” other than the fact that they are female and are getting older! Breast cancer can strike at any age, and women of every age should be aware of their personal risk factors for breast cancer.
Myth: “I’m better off not knowing if I have a problem with my breasts.”
Reality: While doing nothing may give some women a false sense of security, advances in early detection and improved treatment of breast cancer now make it a nearly curable condition! The key is in finding it early.
Myth: “I'll be all set as long as I get my mammogram on schedule.”
Reality: While screening mammography is especially valuable as an early detection tool, it is not 100 percent effective, nor is it recommended as a technique to be used by itself. The best protection is a three-step approach that includes:
Monthly breast self-examination, beginning at age 20
Annual clinical breast exams by a health care professional, beginning at age 40. Women ages 20 to 39 should have clinical breast exams by a health care professional at least every three years.
Annual mammograms, beginning at age 40.
Myth: “I don’t have time to do breast self examination (BSE), and I wouldn't be able to find anything even if I did.”
Reality: BSE is simple to learn and takes only 10 minutes per month to do! Women who practice BSE become so familiar with the normal look, feel and shape of their breasts that they often are able to discover problems as soon as they occur. The list of “what to look for” includes: skin irritation or dimpling; scaling or ulcerations; puckering or discoloration; inversion of the nipple; and a lump, thickening, swelling or distortion of the size or shape of the breast. The basic rule of thumb is: check for anything that may be different from last month, and seek medical attention if you find something “abnormal.” Most breast lumps and other changes are non-cancerous. In fact, 80 percent biopsies’ results reveal the condition as not cancer.
Myth: “I can't afford to get a doctor's exam of the breast or a mammogram.”
Reality: There are programs that pay for these services in cases where women have little or no private health insurance and meet other eligibility guidelines.
For more information about Breast Cancer, please check out the site below