Your sleeping position can cause breast cancer, according to a myth. You can even develop the disease from the type of bra you wear, they told you. Trash it. There is nothing like that.
Dr Chinedu Aruah, an oncologist, says sleeping in certain positions and wearing certain types of bras would never cause breast cancer.
Aruah is a senior registrar in the Radiation Oncology Department, National Hospital Abuja.
He said: “The way the patient lies down or the way the patient sleeps does not predispose a woman to breast cancer in any form.
“Wearing certain types of bra just gives the patient discomfort, it doesn’t predispose to breast cancer.
“Being a female is a major risk factor because we have always said that it is the commonest cancer in female.
“Another risk factor is when you have breast cancer in close degree relatives, degree relatives means the mother of the patient, her sisters , her aunty.
“If there is any history of previous benign breast lesion, It is not every swelling in the breast that is cancerous, there are some swelling in the breast that is just ordinary,
“When you say benign, it means it doesn’t show features of cancer or what you call malignant changes.
“More importantly, there is another one that is genetic in origin and this one that is very common, there is what we call BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, your gene.
“When there is mutation in this BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, then it predisposes to breast cancer, so it runs through a family.”
He also said that factors that could cause breast cancer were obesity, exposure of the breast to radiation, women on contraceptives, especially the estrogen-based type, and hormonal replacement therapy.
The doctor said that breast cancer was more common in women in menopausal age – between age 40 to 50 years.
According to him, breast cancer is less common in women below the age of 30 years and rare in females under 20 years.
Aruah said that breast cancer also affected men usually those in the older age groups.
He, however, advised women to go for regular screening of the breast to ensure that there was no growth or lump on the breast.
The doctor also advised women within the 35 years age bracket to go for mammography every two to three years, while the younger women should do female breast ultrasound regularly.
“If a woman notices she has ulcer that has refused to go or a lump that is rapidly increasing, she should seek medical help immediately because early detection is key in treating breast cancer,” he stated.
He spoke of the need for sustained education of health workers, especially doctors, about breast cancer.
The doctor said that re-training would expose them to oncology centres and help them make appropriate diagnosis and referrals.
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