Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 'Real' Causes of breast cancer

Of course when I stumble across an article entitled 'The Real Causes of Breast Cancer' my inquiring mind needs to find out what they are - e.g., where did I go wrong.

First of all I will state I have two problems with the article. It is in slide show format - when did the media decide we needed 'life by PowerPoint' and are in capable of reading more than two sentences without another picture. Second this article is in Third Age magazine which claims to be: '...a leading online lifestage media, marketing and consumer insight company exclusively focused on serving baby boomers.' And I didn't see any scientific basis to this article although they do refer to studies but do not link to any. This is not a medical journal by any stretch.Therefore I revoke its right to put me on any kind of guilt trip.

But here are the causes:
  • Alcohol -  strong link to to drinking more than two drinks a day will increase a woman's breast cancer risk.
  • Stress - weak link
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy - strong link
  • Breast trauma - weak link
  • Weight gain - strong link if a woman gains more than 30 lbs in her adult life.
  • Household cleaning products - weak link but there was a study that found that women who used air freshener sprays were 20% more likely to get breast cancer. My advice - open the damn windows
  • Taking the pill - strong link to slightly increasing the risk of breast cancer but also a strong link to reducing risk of getting ovarian or uterine cancers
  • Underwire bras - weak link - oh, please what paranoid person thought this one up.
  • Smoking - strong link - well, duh
  • Not breast feeding - strong link
  • Anti-perspirant - weak link - another one from the files of the paranoid that actually started as an email hoax

Okay to summarize the bad things are drinking, HRT, fatness, the pill, smoking and not breast feeding. So skinny, sober, women with many children who breast fed and never took HRT have the lowest risk. Gee. I am not skinny, like my wine, have no kids, but never took HRT. Can I have an undo and try life all over again? Ha, ha. No guilt trip for me.

But we can be stressed, play contact sports, smell good, live in clean smelling rooms, and wear under wire bras with out increasing our risk of breast cancer.

And you will note that all of these talk about reducing or increasing risk. But they do not give answers as to why some women get breast cancer in the first place. You can do all the right things and still get cancer. Ask anyone who has lung cancer and never smoked a day in their life.

So this is not the definitive list of things that cause breast cancer after all.

1 comment:

Arla said...

Awesomely written, Caroline! And I agree - no guilt trip here either. They could've told me those things about 27 years ago - it may have made a difference. So, for now, it will go right in my "SS" (Suzanne Somers - who doesn't think chemo helps cancer) circular files. More tax dollars going to things we pretty much already knew, huh? Cheers! :)