Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cancer myths

There are more myths about breast cancer and all other cancers. You know the ones - you can get breast cancer from wearing deodorant, underwire bras, living near power lines, blah, blah, blah. If anyone tells you they know how you got your cancer, just like if they tell you their 'cure' for cancer, they are full of you know what. And you can tell them (as politely as you want) to go take a hike.

One myth I think is overwhelmingly stupid. 1 in 8 is not your chance of getting breast cancer in your lifetime. 1 in 8 is the chance you will get breast cancer when you are 85. The stupidity that allows this one never ceases to amaze me. If anyone says it, I would reply 'liar, liar, pants on fire'.

But there is one myth that is still a myth unfortunately. That is that breast cancer is preventable.


'Alas, no. Although it is possible to identify risk factors (such as family history and inherited gene mutations) and make lifestyle changes that can lower your risk (reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, losing weight, getting regular exercise and screenings, and quitting smoking), roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors, meaning that the disease occurs largely by chance and according to as-yet-unexplained factors.'

You can try as much as you might but you can not eliminate the risk of breast or any other cancer in your life. This is the one myth I would like to see proven.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The one in eight figure is not a 'myth.' That is the chance that a woman in the US will be diagnosed with an invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. What you have to remember is it refers to lifetime risk, not the risk that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer at a given point in her life.

This is a good discussion of this topic:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/probability-breast-cancer