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Beat The Myths About Breast cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers affecting a large section of the society. The change in lifestyle, working conditions and the amount of pollution one is exposed to on a daily basis are together responsible for causing the uncontrolled spread of cancerous cells.
While the signs and symptoms associated with breast cancer are numerous, the amount of myths and beliefs associated with it are just as many. With breast cancer becoming a rampant disease among women (and men), it is vital to understand the facts in order to prevent the large number of deaths associated with it.
Cancer is caused due to rapid reproduction of cells in a particular area. There are two types of cancerous cells, namely benign and malignant cells. Benign cancers are caused due to aggressive reproduction of cells in one particular area leading to the formation of a tumor. They do not spread to other parts of the body.
In other words, these tumors are stationary, do not force the surrounding cells to reproduce quickly like them and are therefore not dangerous. These tumors can be easily removed. Malignant cells on the other hand are dangerous. They have the ability to spread all over the body leading to formation of tumors in different places, in turn causing the rapid spread of cancer.
Breast cancer when detected at an early stage can easily be cured and even prevented from spreading elsewhere. When left to grow due to ignorance, breast cancer has been proven to be quite fatal.
Listed below are some myths and commonly misinterpreted facts about breast cancer. Read on to educate yourself and your family/friends about the most widely misunderstood type of cancer:
Only women are susceptible to breast cancer.
Both men and women are equally susceptible to breast cancer. Cancerous cells do not discriminate on basis of gender. However, the incidence rates of women complaining of breast cancer is way higher when compared to the number of men diagnosed with the same.
Use of deodorants increases the risk of breast cancer.
Many people believe that excess use of deodorants increases the risk and in some cases is even responsible for triggering the growth and development of cancerous cells. The American Cancer Society says this notion is completely baseless and wrong.
Although in some cases, cancerous cells extracted from the breast tissue did show the presence of parabens (preservatives used in deodorants having weak-estrogen like properties) in small amounts, the studies could not find the exact source of parabens.
They could therefore not establish whether using deodorants primarily lead to the presence of parabens in the cancerous cells or whether these substances found their way through other sources. Besides, most deodorants use parabens in very small quantities, greatly reducing the risk of a person’s cells being infested with these substances.
Age has nothing to do with breast cancer.
Although a large population of young women are increasingly being diagnosed with breast cancer, the chances of cancerous cell formation increases proportionally with age. So, the older you are, the higher the chances of developing cancer. The body’s overall immunity levels drop as you get older, a phenomenon associated naturally with ageing.
This makes you more easily prone to cancer and other diseases and illnesses because your body is not able to fight with the same vigor as it could previously do. Estrogen, the female hormone acts like a “natural protective agent” preventing the formation of cancerous cells.
Post menopausal women have a sudden drop in estrogen. This automatically makes them highly prone to breast cancer. It is therefore advisable for older women to get breast examinations and screenings performed on a regular basis to discover the presence of any troublesome tumors in the region.
Only women having a family history are susceptible to breast cancer.
Nearly 90 percent of the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no history or incidence of breast cancer cases amongst their immediate relatives or family members. This clearly indicates the growing need to create awareness amongst women of all age groups and make them understand that women without family history are equally if not more susceptible to breast cancer.
Development of lumps is the only symptom used for detecting the presence of breast cancer.
There are numerous signs to detect cancer. The formation or development of lumps is not the sole criteria for diagnosing breast cancer. Rashes, constant itching, dimpling, swelling, pain in the nipple and breast, nipple retraction or secretion of liquids are common signs that indicate that something is not right.
These signs need immediate consultation with the doctor. Inflammatory breast cancer or IBC is a rare type of breast cancer where there is absolutely no formation of any type of lump in and around the region.
Breast cancer is not treatable.
Breast cancer is very much treatable if detected early. However, even when diagnosed at advanced stages, breast cancer can be kept under control with regular treatments followed by living a healthy and active lifestyle.
Including protein rich foods, fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants will boost the body’s immunity in a natural manner, helping your body to cope with the illness for a longer duration of time. The better your nutrient intake in terms of quality, the higher chances your body has in fighting off the cancerous cells.
Berries, red or purple colored fruits and vegetables, greens and nuts are high in antioxidant content. Antioxidants help fight free radicals. The latter are responsible for causing the development of cancerous cells in the body. Smoking and alcohol consumption should be stopped immediately if you are looking to boost your survival rates after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
It is crucial to do self examinations to detect the presence of any cancerous cells in and around the breast tissue. Although mammograms are pretty effective, nearly 10 to 20 percent of the cases go undetected even after performing a mammogram.
This probably highlights the importance to constantly examine and screen oneself. Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining an ideal weight are some useful weapons in keeping cancerous cells at bay.