Will you join me for #WearItPink on 19.10.18?
October is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I would love to share some interesting facts I have been sent by Alana Blair, Health Information Marketing Manager at Breast Cancer Now
When it comes to the risk factors for breast cancer, there are a lot of myths to cloud the facts. Unfortunately, one in eight women in the UK will develop the disease in their lifetime, and around 11,500 still lose their lives each year. It’s important that women know how to spot the signs of this devastating disease early and – even better – reduce their risk of developing it.Six
Breast Cancer Myths Busted
1. Bumping or bruising your breast can cause breast cancer
There is no evidence to suggest that a bump or bruise to the breast area causes breast cancer. After an injury, you might be taking more notice of your breasts and therefore be more likely to notice something unusual.
If everyone always paid as close attention to their breasts as they do after they’ve taken a knock, we might be able to catch more breast cancers earlier.
2. Family history is the main cause of breast cancer
While a strong family history of the disease does increase your risk, it’s worth noting that only 5-15% of breast cancers are related to an increased risk due to family history.
If you have several blood relatives who’ve had breast or ovarian cancer, or have blood relatives who were diagnosed with breast cancer when they were under 40, you could be eligible for referral to a genetics specialist. To learn more about how your family history may affect your breast cancer risk, visit our online family history guide.
3. Deodorants and antiperspirants increase your risk of breast cancer
Since the late 90s, rumours about deodorants and antiperspirants causing breast cancer have been rife – but the evidence does not support this claim.
What is true is that women are asked to avoid using antiperspirants before they go to a mammogram. This is because the aluminium particles in these products can sometimes show up on the x-ray image, resulting in an inaccurate reading.
4. You need training from a healthcare professional to be able to check your breasts properly
Many women still believe that to properly check their breasts, they need training from a healthcare professional. This is not the case. There is no set technique to checking your breasts – it’s as easy as Touch Look Check: Just get to know how your breasts look and feel normally, check regularly, and report any unusual changes to your doctor.
5. You can’t get screened if you have breast implants
While this isn’t true, if you do have implants, you should let your screening service know before attending your appointment, as they may need to ensure they have the right equipment available.
Implants can make it harder for the radiographer to see the breast tissue, so they may need to take additional x-ray images from different angles to ensure all breast tissue is examined. They may also need to check the x-ray straight away to ensure it has worked properly, which requires digital technology.
6. Eating ‘superfoods’ reduces your risk of breast cancer
There is no such thing as a ‘superfood’ when it comes to reducing your risk of developing breast cancer. Many so-called ‘superfoods’ contain natural chemicals, such as vitamins and minerals, which have been shown to have positive health effects in studies in the lab. But these studies often contain extremely large doses of a purified ingredient, which is not an accurate representation of how healthy foods are digested in the human body.
Therefore, there’s little evidence to suggest that eating ‘superfoods’ provides enough of a specific ingredient to have any effect on our health, let alone on breast cancer risk.
What we do know is that a healthy diet can help to lower your risk of breast cancer because it helps you maintain a healthy weight. Through being more physically active and reducing your alcohol intake – you can also actively reduce your risk of the disease.
#WEARITPINK – 19.10.18
For more information about how to check your breasts and reducing your own risk of breast cancer, visit: http://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer
Breast Check Now App
Breast Cancer Now want to make it as easy as possible for women to remember to check themselves, so they have created the Breast Check Now app which aims to get women into the habit of checking their breasts regularly by setting up a plan that’s easy to remember and fits with their daily lives.
It also gives all the information on potential signs and symptoms to look out for, and enables you to keep a record of your checks to help you learn what’s normal for you and to see if anything changes.
Download the free Breast Check Now app here: breastcancernow.org/breastchecknow