The SITS Network has done such a cool thing. They created several “tribes” and divided the members who were interested into smaller networks. The tribes were divided and grouped up by common interests of the bloggers. I am part of the Spring Chickens Tribe. The members of this tribe are primarily moms to special needs kids or those who are personally affected by life’s challenges. One of the activities we were supposed to do as a tribe was exchange guest posts with other members. Several of us were willing to write and share posts. I will have a new guest post each Friday for the next few weeks. Ginny Marie from Lemon Drop Pie is the first guest poster that I’m sharing with you and what a better post for this month! Thanks so much Ginny :)
Are you aware? How aware are you? Aware enough to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Face it, you’d have to be living on Planet X not to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the month of PINK!
My name is Ginny Marie, and I’m honored that Tara has asked me to write a guest post about Breast Cancer Awareness. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 when I was 27 years old. Since we all know about breast cancer, I’m going to “debunk” some breast cancer myths for you. As a breast cancer survivor, I’ll give you my response to these myths.
Myth: Young women don’t get breast cancer.
Fact: While it’s true the disease is more common in postmenopausal women, breast cancer can affect people of any age. Women under 50 account for 25% of all breast cancer cases.
My take: Unless you don’t consider 27 young, young women DO get breast cancer. Just because you are young, don’t forget to check your boobies!
Myth: Wearing an underwire bra increases your risk of getting breast cancer.
Fact: The claims that underwire bras compress the lymphatic system of the breast causing toxins to accumulate and cause breast cancer, are simply NOT TRUE.
My Take: I hate underwire bras. I’ve never worn them and never will.
Myth: Deodorant and antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Fact: Two different rumors have caused this myth; first, that antiperspirant prevents you from sweating out toxins, which can then accumulate in lymph nodes and cause breast cancer. Toxins are not usually released through sweat, and studies have shown this rumor isn’t true. Another rumor says that the aluminum and parabens in antiperspirants may cause breast cancer. This rumor so far has been proven false, but may need more study.
My Take: I’m mostly afraid of parabens (used as preservatives in some antiperspirants). Parabens have weak estrogen-like properties, and my tumor was estrogen positive. However, I’m also afraid of smelling bad. So I look at the ingredient list; many antiperspirants don’t use parabens, and those are the ones I buy. Better safe than sorry, right? (There is no known link between parabens and breast cancer.)
Myth: Breast cancer always comes in the form of a lump.
Fact: Women should be alert for other kinds of changes that may be signs of cancer. These include swelling; skin irritation or dimpling; breast or nipple pain; nipple retraction (turning inward); redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin; or a discharge other than breast milk. Breast cancer can also spread to underarm lymph nodes and cause swelling there before a tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.
Women with a rare type of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) rarely have a breast lump. Symptoms of IBC include swelling, redness, itchiness, or warmth in the breast; tenderness or pain; a change in the nipple, such as retraction; skin that appears thick and pitted like an orange peel or with ridges and small bumps; an area of the breast that looks bruised; or swollen lymph nodes under the arm.
My Take: Although my breast cancer was a lump, I’m always on the lookout for any changes in my breast. Report any change in your breasts to your doctor!
Myth: This is my favorite myth. Drinking water from a plastic bottle left in a hot car can cause cancer.
Fact: Water bottles do not contain dioxins — a group of toxic chemicals associated with health problems, including breast cancer. The sun’s rays are also not strong enough to create them. There is some concern about BPA, a compound that is thought to have estrogen-like effects. Most single-use water bottles sold in the United States are BPA-free.
My Take: Back in the 90′s when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was too poor (and frugal) to buy water bottles! I rarely drank from them, and usually had water in a glass from the sink. I still don’t buy water bottles, but more for environmental reasons than the fear of breast cancer.
There are many more myths about breast cancer; before you believe them, check with a reliable medical source first.
You can read more about how to do a breast self exam on my blog, Lemon Drop Pie: Breast Self Exam. Thank you, Tara, for letting me be your guest for the day!