Illinois action blog

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Football fans out there may have noticed something unusual on the field in recent weeks – the wave of pink making its way into players’ uniforms. No, the NFL-wide costume change has nothing to do with Halloween. But it does have to do with something often considered to be just as scary – breast cancer, the disease that affects more than 230,000 new women and men in the United States each year.

One of the most frightening things about breast cancer, though, is the amount of misinformation out there about who’s at risk and how to prevent it. Luckily, a recent article from the Chicago Tribune helps to separate fact from fiction. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions they cited:

Myth: All breast lumps are cancerous.
Fact: 8 out of 10 breast lumps are benign (not cancerous).

Myth: Only “old” women get breast cancer.
Fact: 25 percent of women with breast cancer are younger than 50.

Myth: If no one in your family has breast cancer, you won’t get it.
Fact: Only 15 to 20 percent of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.

The prevalence of these myths is one of many reasons that women put off their recommended breast cancer screening, a quick doctor’s visit that could yield a potentially lifesaving result. Early detection through breast exams and mammograms is key to finding and stopping cancer at its most treatable stage.

The NFL may be donning pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month only, bur Planned Parenthood is here to help year-round. Call your local health center or make an appointment to find out about cancer prevention, breast health, and the services available to you.

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, breast cancer awareness


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