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October 29, 2012

Common Breast Cancer Myths

October is an important month for more than just the ghouls and goblins that roam the street on Halloween. It is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to promote diligence and awareness of the most common cancer diagnosed among women. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate a strong connection between the presence of gum disease and the development of breast cancer. To help raise awareness of the epidemic, your Atlanta dentist, Dr. Peter Pate and his team share some facts about breast cancer while debunking some of the more popular myths surrounding the disease.

Breast Cancer—The Facts

MYTH: Breast cancer is not as deadly as most cancers, since it only affects the breasts.

TRUTH: Every year, over 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in America. Of those, over 40,000 cases will be fatal.   Cancer, no matter what part of the body it affects, is a deadly disease and should never be underestimated.

MYTH: Men do not get breast cancer. It only affects women.

TRUTH: Sorry, guys, this is a total myth. Although breast cancer occurrences in males are much rarer than in women, every year about 2,190 men are diagnosed with cancer in their breast tissue. Approximately 400 of those cases will be fatal. The rare occurrence in men also translates into a higher mortality rate, since men are less likely to perform a self-check than women are, and men are even less likely to assume that a lump in the chest is breast cancer.

MYTH: A mammogram can increase your risk of breast cancer, or cause breast cancer to spread.

TRUTH: On the contrary, a mammogram, or breast X-ray, is the gold standard for early detection, which is essential to successful treatment. Radiation exposure during a mammogram is minimal, and health risks from this exposure are extremely low. An annual mammogram is recommended for women aged 40 years or older, or earlier if your doctor advises it. There have also been new advances in detection technology, including the use of targeted ultrasound to identify abnormal tissue.

Promoting Total Health in Atlanta

As the link between your oral health and physical wellbeing becomes simultaneously clearer yet more complex, the one irrefutable truth is that maintaining optimal oral health is important to both your mouth and your body. To learn more about optimizing your health, or to schedule a dental consultation, contact Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 266-9424 to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve patients from the Buckhead area, as well as Sandy Springs, Lenox, Brookhaven, and the greater Atlanta area.