Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge Day Two #HAWMC

Day two of the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month which I have signed up for – a month dedicated to the art of writing about health. 

Today’s prompt:

Introduce your condition(s) to other Health Activists. What are 5 things you want them to know about your condition/your activism?
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.

While many people think they know what breast cancer is, there are still many myths  and misconceptions surrounding the disease which I would like to address in today’s post.

Debunking Five Breast Cancer Myths

#1 – It’s All in the Genes

You know how this one goes. It’s all in your genes, therefore there is nothing you can do to prevent it, so why even try!  In fact, the idea in the public’s mind that if there is no history of cancer in your family, you are somehow protected from getting the disease, is an erroneous one. The fact is that only 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary.

#2 – You Can’t Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes, including lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, and physical activity and environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation. What most people don’t realise is that cancer is preventable in many cases. Learning what causes cancer and what the risk factors are is the first step in cancer prevention. Many cancer risk factors can be avoided, thus reducing the likelihood of developing cancer. The current advice is to keep to a healthy weight, exercise three to four hours a week, don’t smoke, limit alcohol use to five or fewer drinks per week, and eat five to nine fruits and vegetables a day.

#3- Only Your’s Mother’s Family History  Predicts Risk
A history of breast cancer in your mother’s or your father’s family equally influence your risk. That’s because half of your genes come from your mother, half from your father. But a man with a breast cancer gene abnormality is less likely to develop breast cancer than a woman with a similar gene. So, if you want to learn more about your father’s family history, you have to look mainly at the women on your father’s side, not just the men (BreastCancer.org)#4 – A Lump In My Breast Means I have Breast Cancer
Not necessarily. Breast tissue is changing all the time because of varying hormone levels, especially during menstruation or breastfeeding.  Lumps can be benign growths of tissue, but if you do feel one you should always have it checked out straight away to be on the safe side.#5 – Stress Causes Cancer
While it is true that stress impacts your health, cancer is a complex disease and the  scientific evidence that stress causes cancer is not conclusive. However,  this is not the final word on this subject, and subsequent research may prove otherwise.Whatever we believe about the connection between stress and cancer, there is no denying that stress can cause other health problems that negatively impact our lives.
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Would you like to join me in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC)?
It’s not too late to join in the challenge!