Every October, it’s not uncommon for the color pink to suddenly become a national trend. This is the month in which high schools and universities all over the United States host pink themed football games, company employers pass around the pink ribbon, and Relay for Life fundraiser events are held on campuses, fairgrounds, and football fields. This is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and these events are meant to honor those who have succumbed to their cancer, those who are currently battling, and raising money for enhanced medical technology to finally find a cure.
An editorial published by Cancer.Net estimated that approximately 281,550 people will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 44,130 people will die from it in 2021¹. Furthermore, as of 2021 there are more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer whether they are currently receiving treatment or have completed treatment and in remission². Of course, when it comes to any form of cancer, sometimes it’s best to not look at these statistics at face value. Regardless of the type, all cancer cases are different from patient-to-patient, and seeking information from statistics does not decipher one’s chances of survival. When it comes to breast cancer, there are many misconceptions that people believe based on experiences from someone else, outdated google articles, or false assumptions. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we want to help clear up a few myths about breast cancer to help our patients better understand the disease and its diagnosis. Below are four common myths and truths about breast cancer.
Myth 1: Only Women Get Breast Cancer
Truth: While it’s less common, men are equally susceptible to breast cancer as their female counterparts. Did you know that all embryos are phenotypically female? The Y chromosome won’t appear until six or seven weeks, which is when the fetus becomes genetically male or female. If no Y chromosome is present, the embryo continues to develop and be born as a girl. However, if a Y chromosome is present, this adds testosterone and changes the genetic makeup to that of a boy, thus halting the development of breasts but leaving the nipples in place. Therefore, even though men don’t grow breasts like women do, they still have a small amount of breast tissue that has been there since birth. This means that malignant cells still have a chance of growing within the breast tissue of men. Cancer.Net estimates that about 2,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2021¹. Some of the most common breast cancer types that occur in men is ductal carcinoma; the presence of malignant cells within the milk ducts. Usually, this is considered an early form of breast cancer and has not spread into the breast tissue, milk glands or lymph nodes. However, it is highly recommended to seek a form of treatment to prevent it from spreading into a more deadly form of cancer.
Myth 2: If Breast Cancer Doesn’t Run in Your Family, You’ll Be Fine
Truth: One common misconception is that breast cancer is hereditary. In reality, the vast majority of people who are diagnosed with the disease actually have no family history of breast cancer. This suggests that other factors such as environmental toxins or poor lifestyle choices may come into play during the development of the disease. While one with a family background may be at higher risk, this does not accurately indicate whether or not someone will have it. While mammograms are recommended by most conventional oncologists for screening, LifeWorks Wellness Center suggests a Thermography Scan for early detection instead as it doesn’t use radiation or compress the breasts.
Myth 3: Chemotherapy is The Only Option for Treatment
Truth: Not at all. As a matter of fact, depending on the stage of the cancer, an oncologist may not even recommend chemotherapy to the patient. In reality, there are various treatment options for patients, and while an oncologist may suggest specific ones that they feel are right for one’s case, it’s up to the patient on whether or not they want to receive it. While it’s effective in killing cancer cells, chemotherapy also destroys healthy cells that our body needs for a healthy immune system. For this reason, many breast cancer patients receiving chemo become vulnerable to bacteria which can compromise their system and cause other health problems. So, if someone with an early stage of breast cancer is inquiring about chemotherapy to their oncologist, it’s likely that they will be advised against the treatment due to the detrimental side effects that it can lead to. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we provide a different approach to breast cancer treatments, and patients that choose not to receive chemotherapy come to us as an alternative.
Myth 4: A Lump Equals Breast Cancer
Truth: Not all lumps are cancerous, especially in women who have fibrocystic breasts. So, if one feels a lump, it’s best to consult an oncologist or practitioner for a more in-depth analysis before jumping to conclusions and increasing anxiety. On the contrary, some people rely heavily on the feeling of a lump to indicate breast cancer, therefore they decide to skip out on mammograms or other alternative diagnostic tools like thermography’s. But, sometimes early stages of breast cancer do not cause lumps at all, and when it does, it’s likely that the cancer has already spread to lymph nodes and other areas of the body. Additionally, when performing a self-breast exam, there are multiple misconceptions regarding the type of lump if one is felt.
For example, false claims such as,
“If the lump is hard, smooth and moves around freely, it’s probably benign.”
“If the lump hurts, it’s probably cancerous.”
There is no evidence that discusses whether or not a breast cancer lump has a distinct consistency, pain level, or size. It’s best that any lump that is seen or felt should be tested by an oncologist or practitioner to distinguish if it is, in fact, malignant or benign.
Treating Breast Cancer at LifeWorks
As mentioned previously, LifeWorks Wellness Center offers different treatment methods to those who are not interested in receiving radiation or chemotherapy. Our cancer treatment program will aggressively attack cancer cells while keeping healthy cells intact. This will ensure that one’s immune system will continue to protect the body while the patient eliminates their cancer. Some of our treatments include:
- Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT)
- Ozone Therapy
- Hyperthermia Therapy
- Intravenous Therapies
- Magnetic Field Therapy (MASMAT)
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
- Dietary changes
If you or someone that you know have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are seeking alternative forms of treatment, please call (727) 466-6789 to schedule an appointment with a cancer specialist.