When it comes to breast cancer, it’s important to have the facts. Arm yourself with knowledge and avoid falling prey to myths that could come between you and an accurate, early diagnosis.
MYTH: Symptoms are exclusive to the breasts.
Upper back pain can actually be a symptom of breast cancer. If you have back pain that’s persistent and unexplained, talk to your doctor about getting screened for breast cancer. The pain can occur when tumors grow deep in the breast tissue and push on ligaments and nerves. It can also be felt if your cancer has metastasized and become bone cancer.
MYTH: Lumps occur in the breasts only.
Breast tissue expands beyond the breasts. In fact, breast cancer can manifest as a lump in the armpit. When you’re performing a self-exam, it’s very important to check the tissue in your armpit, as well as checking from your collarbone to the top of your belly.
MYTH: Breast cancer only affects middle-aged women.
While more instances of breast cancer are diagnosed in women over 50, young women can get breast cancer. In fact, the National Cancer Institute estimates that a woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 30-39 is 1 in 233.
MYTH: Breast cancer can’t be prevented.
While some women have genetic and lifestyle-related risk factors, it’s possible to take steps to lower the overall risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Women should eat balanced, healthy diets, maintain a healthy weight and quit smoking. Getting adequate exercise, reducing stress and reducing exposure to environmental toxins may also help lower risk.
Want to celebrate women's health and support breast cancer research? Don't miss our Spirit Girl’s Night Out – Be Dazzling event on Thursday October 18 2012.
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