Busting the myths about breast cancer

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One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Experts are still learning about this disease and what causes it.


There are many myths related to the origins of breast cancer. The following items do not cause breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:

•  Antiperspirants and deodorants

•  Caffeine

•  Dairy products

•  Microwaves

•  Cell phones

•  Being around others with cancer


Truth about breast cancer risk

There are some things that can increase the chances of getting breast cancer. These are called "risk factors." The following risk factors are things you cannot change:

•  Being a woman

•  Being over age 55

•  Caucasian race

•  Family history of breast or ovarian cancer

•  Having abnormal breast cells in the past

•  Starting menstruation (periods) before age 12

•  Going into menopause after age 55

•  Gene mutations with BRCA1 or BRCA2

•  Having dense breast tissue


Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer. The best thing to do is talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Together, you can come up with a plan for breast cancer screening or other testing, if needed.


Ways you can lower your risk

•  Get plenty of exercise.

•  Eat a balanced & healthy diet.

•  Get & stay at a healthy weight.

•  Avoid or limit alcohol.

•  Avoid tobacco, including second-hand smoke (research is ongoing)


Sources: American Cancer Society, National Breast Cancer Foundation

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