Separating fact from fiction surrounding breast cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it seems you can’t pick up a magazine or read a post without running into news and advice. So how do you separate the truth from a lot of bad science?
Dr. Preya Ananthakrishnan is the Director of Breast Surgery at White Plains Hospital. Based on her vast experience, she suggests what’s true and what you can stop worrying about.
- Not every lump is breast cancer. Often they turn out to be cysts or benign fibroadenomas (a non-cancerous tumor). But if you do feel something, get it checked out by a physician.
- It’s not only your mother’s family history that matters. Since only 15 percent of women who develop breast cancer have a genetic predisposition, you are never at zero risk.
- Mammograms expose you to less radiation than you’d experience just walking around. If your doctor recommends a mammogram, don’t put it off.
- Get the tests your doctor recommends. But also, try to live a healthy lifestyle – lose weight if necessary, exercise regularly, eat right – whole grains, fruits, vegetables – and limit alcohol.
- Even if your breast has been removed, there is still a chance that breast cancer could reappear near the site or somewhere else in your body. So stay connected with your treatment team for routine follow ups to ensure that you continue to stay healthy.
- Although there are no studies directly linking breast cancer and stress, more exercise, better sleep and meditation can help to manage these feeling.
To find a physician specializing in breast cancer, call 914-849-MyMD (6963).