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fact versus mythIt seems like everyone is aware of breast cancer in the month of October, with waves of marchers, many of your favorite products and even NFL players all awash in pink. But awareness isn't  knowledge, and there are some important things you should know about breast cancer. Let's start by debunking a few popular myths.

Using deodorant or antiperspirant doesn't cause breast cancer. This myth is fueled by claims that specific chemicals found in these products mimic estrogen and raise a woman’s breast cancer risk. But there's no evidence that antiperspirants and deodorants can cause breast cancer or make it return.

Wearing an underwire bra (or any bra) doesn't cause breast cancer. Studies have found no association between wearing a bra and an increased breast cancer risk among post-menopausal women, regardless of how long a woman wore a bra each day, what type of bra she wore, or at what age she started wearing a bra.

Exposing breast cancer to air will not make it spread. This old myth suggests that surgery allows cancer to spread throughout the body. Surgery may uncover a more aggressive case of cancer, but it cannot cause it to spread.  

A double mastectomy won't necessarily save your life if you have cancer in one breast.  More women diagnosed with breast cancer are now choosing to undergo a higher-risk double mastectomy, but a long-term study of 200,000 women showed that the 10-year survival rate for women who had a double mastectomy was just a few percentage points higher than those who chose a less-invasive lumpectomy followed by radiation.

These are some of the myths, but what are some truths that can help you in the fight against breast cancer?

Trying to lose some weight can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen is found in fatty tissue and post-menopausal women may have excess estrogen being made in these fatty tissues. Losing weight lowers your breast cancer risk and can benefit your health in many other ways.

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. And you don't have to head to the gym. Experts say 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week may be enough, but more exercise will work even better.

Limiting alcohol can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who drink two or more alcoholic drinks per day have a 50-percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who don't drink.

They say knowledge is power, and with more knowledge about what does and doesn't cause breast cancer and by taking some simple steps to protect yourself, you'll have more power in the fight against this deadly disease.

 

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax