If you follow our blog, you know most of our posts here are dedicated to healthy teeth and beautiful smiles, because that’s what we’re all about here at CHT Orthodontics! We love talking about the awesome benefits of Invisalign and braces for teens in Hinsdale, but for the month of October, we want to take a little time off teeth to focus on another topic that is very near and dear to us – breast cancer awareness.
Did you know that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop some form of breast cancer over the course of her lifetime? For women in the U.S., the breast cancer death rates are higher than those for almost any other cancer. In 2016 alone, over 40,000 women in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer. That’s a sobering statistic.
Almost every one of us has been affected by breast cancer in some way. We’ve seen our mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts diagnosed. We’ve watched co-workers, neighbors, members of our congregations and softball teams fight against it. Some of us have even walked this difficult path ourselves. It’s no wonder that “think pink” has taken off in such a major way in recent years, when so many of us have personal stories of this disease.
The good news is that the death rates from breast cancer have been dropping over the last twenty years, with larger decreases in women under 50. These decreases are due in large part to our ability to find breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatment options.
However, there’s still a lot of misinformation that exists about breast cancer. This can sometimes lead to fear and a hesitation to seek medical advice or treatment.
To help in the efforts to increase breast cancer awareness…
10 common breast cancer myths we’d like to debunk!
1. Breast Cancer is a death sentence
Now more than ever, the vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer display no signs of the cancer spreading beyond the breast and lymph nodes. About 80 percent of women diagnosed today live at least five years, and most will live much longer.
2. You don’t need a mammogram before age 50
Most medical professionals recommend that women have annual mammogram screenings starting at age 40, or earlier if the woman has a higher risk of breast cancer. Mammograms are the single best screening tool available for the early detection of breast cancer.
3. Only people with a family history are diagnosed
A family history of breast cancer does increase your risk factor for developing it yourself, but every woman has some risk of developing the disease. About 80 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have had no family history of the disease.
4. It’s your fault
Lifestyle factors might play a role in risk, but currently, no one knows exactly what causes breast cancer. Some experts believe that you can develop breast cancer from eating too much fat or not exercising enough, but both perfectly healthy people and people with high-fat, sedentary lifestyles are diagnosed every day.
5. All treatments are the same
Treatment plans will vary from patient to patient. Options for treatment will depend on the type of cancer they have, the size of the tumor, the age of the patient, and their stage in the disease. Some women will need surgery, radiation, and months of chemotherapy. Others may only require surgery or a chemo regimen.
6. Breast cancer is one, single disease
The broadest categories of breast cancer are invasive and non-invasive, and from there, there are several types and subtypes that depend on multiple factors. The one, and sometimes only, thing they have in common is that they all develop in the breast. Myths like this are why breast cancer awareness and education are so important!
7. A mastectomy will be necessary
Many of us jump to this conclusion when we learn of a breast cancer diagnosis, but it isn’t always necessary or even preferred. For women with breast cancer at just one site, with a tumor smaller than 4 centimeters, and clean margins achieved during surgery, a lumpectomy with radiation has been proven to be just as effective as a mastectomy.
8. Removing lymph nodes will cause discomfort and swelling
It’s true that lymph node surgery can lead to discomfort, numbness, and swelling. However, proper care of the arm along with physical therapy will usually help alleviate these symptoms or may even help patients to completely avoid them.
9. Using deodorant causes breast cancer
Despite multiple studies, there is no conclusive evidence that antiperspirants influence your risk of developing breast cancer.
10. Surgery causes cancer to spread
Cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body can be silent for some time before it is discovered. No evidence currently exists that supports the idea that surgery causes cancer to spread.
CHT is helping fight Breast cancer in our Hinsdale area Neighborhoods
Thanks to breast cancer awareness organizations like Susan G. Komen and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, there have been dramatic improvements in cancer research, treatment, and early detection. These organizations are able to address breast cancer on multiple fronts.
They fund research, work hard to improve community health, and also participate in global outreach. They help to put into place public policy initiatives in order to make the biggest impact possible against breast cancer.
For all of these reasons and more, our team here at CHT Orthodontics have chosen to think pink this October to raise funds for more breast cancer awareness and research. We’re still all about Invisalign and braces for teens in Hinsdale, but we’re adding a little extra focus this month and need your help in order to make an impact!
What you can do
It’s easy! Choose pink ties at your next appointment and take a selfie to show them off. Then check-in on Facebook or Instagram, and post the photo to your wall or feed. For every selfie posted, Dr. Carrie will make a donation towards breast cancer awareness and research.
Although straight smiles and healthy teeth are our passion, we want all the women in our lives to know we stand behind them and support the efforts to eradicate this disease. We are proud to be part of the efforts to help increase breast cancer awareness this October. Invisalign and braces for teens in Hinsdale aren’t the only thing we’re passionate about this month! Help our orthodontic office make a difference by thinking pink the next time you’re with us.