News Host: You know that both women and men can be diagnosed with breast cancer or that every woman has some risk of cancer even if it doesn’t run in the family
News Host1: A doctor is going to join us live to give us the top five misconceptions about breast cancer that are out there. It’s important to be able to separate fact from friction when it comes to breast cancer. This is Dr. Edgar Staren. He is the Chief Medical Officer with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Doctor, thank you for being with us.
Dr. Edgar Staren: Thank you.
News Host1: And we were talking during the break about how breast cancer awareness is up there, a lot of women are aware but why are there so many myths and misconceptions?
Dr. Edgar Staren: I think it’s because there are so many difference sources. We now have the Internet. We have television, radio, you can read things in magazines. Some of the myths are perpetuated by your friends that hear something and they repeat it and may not be exactly accurate.
News Host1: All right, let’s go down the list of five of the myths and one of them includes only your mother’s family history of breast cancer can affect your risk – that’s a myth?
Dr. Edgar Staren: It is a myth. In fact it’s not a myth, it’s actually been around for a long period of time. In fact when I was in medical school we used to talk about that. Now it needs to be known is that your father’s side of the family can give you a risk of breast cancer and in fact men can develop breast cancer. It’s true that women more often but one percent of breast cancer occur in men.
News Host1: Should men be doing self-exams like women?
Dr. Edgar Staren: Certainly they should pay attention if a mass develops in the area of the breast and not discount the possibility that it could be something important.
News Host1: All right, let’s go to myth number two, which is a monthly breast self-exam is the best way to diagnose breast cancer.
Dr. Edgar Staren: That’s one of the important problems is that many women will think if they don’t develop a mass, that they can’t develop a breast cancer. In fact mammography is clearly the best screening tool to identify your breast cancer. So mammography plus self-examination as well as yearly examination by a physician is important.
News Host1: And there’s confusion about the baseline, when should a woman have her first mammogram?
Dr. Edgar Staren: There continues to be controversy but generally the recommendation is at age 40.
News Host1: All right. Myth number three – if you have a risk factor of breast cancer you are likely to get the disease – not true.
Dr. Edgar Staren: In fact that is not true. Two-thirds of breast cancers will occur in women that have had no identified history of risk factors. It is true that risk factors are important but just because you don’t have that known risk factor doesn’t mean you can’t get the disease.
News Host1: All right, myth number five everybody, birth control pills cause breast cancer.
Dr. Edgar Staren: No, in fact there’s no good studies to suggest that. It’s possible that birth control pills do decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer but the doses of the estrogen and progesterone are so low that no good studies have documented that.
News Host1: Dr. Staren, thank you so much. We have posted some other myths on our website myfoxchicago.com so you can log on to there and get the load down and get the truth because it’s so very important, right?
Dr. Edgar Staren: It is important.
News Host1: Right, Dr. Staren, thank you. Thanks for coming here.
Dr. Edgar Staren: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you.
News Host: Great information.