Ladies! 5 Myths about breast cancer you you know nothing about
According to a consultant, radiation and clinical oncologist, who is the executive director, Sebeccly Cancer Care, has just revealed the 5 myths of breast cancer. And this is a must read!
It’s not knew anymore that many women are now aware of their breast health and breast cancer, however some damaging myths exist that misinform women on the benefits of early detection and seeking prompt care. Here are just a few:
1. No one in my family has ever had breast cancer, therefore I don’t have a risk of developing breast cancer.
Every woman has some risk of developing breast cancer. 70%-80% of women who have breast cancer do not have a known family history or an identifiable risk factor. Even if no one in your family has ever been diagnosed, that’s no excuse to skip your yearly mammogram. It’s important all women over 40 years old be screened for breast cancer. A few women have a family history where at least 2 relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer: such women have an increased risk of breast cancer and they should visit their doctors to discuss risk reduction and intervention.
2. A mammogram is not beneficial as it can cause breast cancer and it is painful.
A mammogram is an X ray picture of the breast. It can pick up a lump 2 years prior to a doctor feeling it. An annual screening mammogram is recommended for women above 40 years. It is not a painful procedure, but may be slightly uncomfortable because the breast has to be compressed between two plates.
Early detection of breast cancer with screening mammography means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation.
The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low, but repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer. The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Let your doctor know if you’re pregnant, as radiation may harm a growing baby.
3. Breast cancer is a death sentence and there are no cancer survivors.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is NOT a death sentence. With the scientific and social progress in breast cancer care, more women are surviving breast cancer in all over the world now especially the US. Lots of women after treatment are able to resume work and normal activities, get pregnant, have children and live a happy life. The mortality rate is high because of the late stage at presentation, survivor-ship barriers (affordability, accessibility and availability of cancer care) and the aggressive biology of breast cancer. If more patients present with early stage disease, receive prompt and effective treatment there would be more cancer survivors and less deaths.
4. Breast cancer surgery could cause death and makes the cancer to spread.
This myth may have started many decades ago when patients with cancer already had advanced stages of the disease by the time they sought medical care. Doctors who operated to diagnose the illness may have found an advanced cancer that could not be treated successfully, so when patients died, observers claimed the surgery caused the spread of cancer cells, ultimately killing them.
Breast surgeons/surgical oncologists are doctors highly trained in the intricacies of cancer surgery and anatomy and know how to safely take biopsy samples and remove tumors without causing the cancer to spread, therefore, surgery should not be delayed or refused as it is an effective treatment.