The incidence of breast cancer among South African women is increasing and it is one of the most common cancers among women in this country. Breast cancer by no means discriminates and cases in men is on the rise; but it is less talked about.
FACTS ABOUT BREAST CANCER :
- Early detection of the condition can lead to effective treatment and a positive prognosis. About 90% of patients survive for many years after diagnosis when breast cancer is detected at the early stages.
- Regular self-breast examination and regular mammograms are key to early detection.
- Presenting yourself early for treatment may result in more effective treatment, leading to a reduction in pain and suffering and a significant decrease in the loss of life.
The designation of October as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in South Africa reflects a nationwide drive by public and private healthcare structures to raise awareness of this debilitating disease across all races and class structures.
There are so many resources that cover the subject of Breast Cancer but try not to self diagnose via google if you suspect something might be wrong; see the Doctor immediately – that split decision could save your life. Rather be wrong than regret not taking action earlier.
Some more common Myths and Facts about Breast Cancer.
MYTH: If I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I won’t get it.
FACT: Most people diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history.
MYTH: If you maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat healthy, and limit alcohol, you don’t have to worry about breast cancer.
FACT: Although these behaviors can help lower breast cancer risk, they can’t eliminate it.
MYTH: Wearing a bra can cause breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence that bras cause breast cancer.
MYTH: Using underarm antiperspirant can cause breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence of a connection between underarm antiperspirant and breast cancer, but the safety of antiperspirants is still being studied.
MYTH: Carrying your cell phone in your bra can cause breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence of a connection between cell phones and breast cancer, but the safety of cell phones is still being studied.
MYTH: Consuming too much sugar causes breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence that sugar in the diet causes breast cancer.
MYTH: Annual mammograms guarantee that breast cancer will be found early.
FACT: Although mammography is the best early-detection tool we have, it doesn’t always find breast cancer at an early stage.
MYTH: Breast cancer always causes a lump you can feel.
FACT: Breast cancer might not cause a lump, especially when it first develops.
MYTH: Early-stage breast cancer rarely recurs.
FACT: Even with early-stage breast cancer, there is always some risk the cancer will return.
MYTH: All breast cancer is treated pretty much the same way.
FACT: Treatment plans vary widely depending on the characteristics of the cancer and patient preferences.
MYTH: Breast cancer only happens to middle-aged and older women.
FACT: Younger women can and do get breast cancer, as do men.
MYTH: When treatment is over, you’re finished with breast cancer.
FACT: Breast cancer can have a long-term impact on people’s lives and well-being.