Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pink ribbons--and you still don't know squat

…Judy Peres, writing in the Baltimore Sun (Oct 1, 2007) says that Breast Cancer Awareness Month (we are in it) is sorely needed.

….B/C may kill 40,000 women this year, many of them believing myths rather than reality.

…For one thing, heredity is not the biggest risk factor. Only 5 to 10% of cases come from inherited traits.

…7 out of 0 women surveyed recently said they believed eating fruits and veggies could help prevent B/C. The evidence is lacking.

…Most women (2/3 of those between 18 and 24) think B/C can be prevented. There are only a few things women can do to cut the risk, such as not taking hormones and not drinking alcohol. Being female and getting older are the biggest risk factors.

…Most women believe early detection is important to save lives. Four out of 10 say self-examination is best. The same proportion vote for mammograms. Major studies show that self-exams can lead top anxiety and unnecessary biopsies.

…Mammography has been shown to cut the statistical risk of dying, but can result in being treated for a tumor that would never have caused problems.

…Sadly, one doctor noted: We don’t truly know how to prevent breast cancer, cure it, or enough about what puts us at risk.

..Believing myths can retard the big push for research dollars. Hear that, candidates?

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