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What You Need To Know About People With Breast Cancer

What You Need To Know About People With Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are multiple campaigns that you will encounter, ranging from the pink pizza boxes at Hungry Howie’s to survivor walks that benefit the American Cancer Society. However, none of this can teach someone what it is truly like to suffer from breast cancer.

People who are currently dealing with this condition have to battle against not only the disease itself, but also a long list of misinformation. Whether you or a loved one are afflicted with breast cancer, it is important to surround yourself with a support system and help shed some light on the reality of this medical condition. You can also help keep other people safe by dispelling myths about what causes breast cancer.

True FAQs About People with Breast Cancer

1. Support Goes a Long Way

The harsh truth about watching someone suffer from breast cancer is that it is often painful and can even be scary. Most people are not very good at finding themselves faced with their own mortality, and nothing will do that faster than holding the hand of a loved one while she or he receives chemotherapy for breast cancer. I have experienced this firsthand, and I want all of you to know how important it is for each cancer patient’s support system to be aware of exactly how necessary they are.

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Keep in mind that being emotional, scared, or nervous is natural, but resisting the impulse to run away will provide your loved one with a critical support system that will make it easier for them to focus on getting better. Additionally, be prepared to deal with some unpleasant comments from the patient. After all, they are scared and in pain, and they will not always be able to stay in good spirits or to make socially acceptable statements at all times.

2. It Takes At Least Five Years to Get the All Clear

Even if breast cancer goes into remission after a few months of treatment, most doctors will not give a patient a cancer-free diagnosis until at least five years have passed. This is the primary reason that websites offer mortality statistics in five-year increments. In other words, an individual with this condition will need regular checkups and treatments for an extended period of time. This process is very tiring, and it will have an impact on other aspects of the patient’s life. Never assume that everything is back to 100 percent because remission happens, but always celebrate every victory to help boost the patient’s morale.

3. Deodorant is Not at Fault

There are numerous myths online that feed on people’s biggest fears. One of these false assertions is that the type of antiperspirant or deodorant that someone uses can increase their risk of developing breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, there has not been any conclusive evidence found yet that links your choice of deodorant or antiperspirant to any type of cancer. Therefore, if you have cancer, it is important not to let yourself dwell on “what ifs” about this topic.

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Individuals who are supporting a cancer patient should steer clear of discussing false information. It is also necessary to avoid shaming people, regardless of whether or not they regularly partook in something that is actually a known risk factor. After all, shaming will not change anything, and supporters need to help patients focus on positive things.

Additional Myths to Dispel

1. There is No Such Thing as Too Much Breast Cancer Awareness

Several studies have proven that Breast Cancer Awareness Month has greatly increased awareness, and this has helped reduce fatalities. However, it is vital to never assume that everyone is aware of what you or a loved one is going through. The simple fact is that awareness saves lives, and you need to take every opportunity to reach out to people about everything from breast cancer screenings to fundraisers. Fortunately, social media makes this easier than ever. You can also incorporate apps such as Challenged to connect with a wider list of people. As an added bonus, challenging people to make a donation or to spread awareness will make it easier to monitor how responsive everyone is to your outreach efforts.

2. The BRCA Gene is Not a Death Sentence

Angelina Jolie made a media splash when she spoke out about the BRCA 1 gene and her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. This combined with Hollywood portrayals of the BRCA gene, including “90210” character Silver’s struggle to deal with a positive diagnosis, has rightfully called attention to the increased risk that this gene causes. It is important to note, though, that not everyone who tests positive for BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 is going to end up contracting breast cancer.

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With this in mind, actress Kristina Klebe recently published her eye-opening account of making the choice not to have her breasts removed, regardless of the fact that she is BRCA 2 positive. The good news for Klebe and other people with one of the BRCA genes is that their risk of developing breast cancer goes down every year. In other words, a BRCA gene diagnosis is not a death sentence, but people with this gene do need to be much more vigilant about receiving regular cancer screenings. Please note that BRCA gene patients who do develop breast cancer will have to fight against bigger odds, and this will require more support.

3. Breast Cancer Doesn’t Just Affect Women

This myth is extremely prevalent, and it may have been inadvertently caused by awareness campaigns placing such a huge emphasis on women and their breasts. Although women are much more likely to develop breast cancer, 2,190 men are diagnosed with the disease every year. The lack of awareness and potential shame factor gets in the way of men being properly treated, which gives them a much higher risk of passing away from breast cancer. To help avoid this tragedy in your life, encourage every man you know to give himself regular breast self-examinations. A non-judgmental support system is also vital for men with breast cancer.

Combining the previously listed true FAQs with the truth behind some of the most prevalent myths will give you a much better understanding of what it means to be a current, former or potentially future breast cancer patient. People with the BRCA gene spend a lot of time receiving medical care, so they are impacted by cancer on a regular basis even if they have not actually developed it. Raising more awareness can help women and men discover if they have cancer, and early detection is the best way to survive.

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In the meantime, those of you who are fortunate enough to have avoided breast cancer so far can further decrease your risk by utilizing professional advice such as performing a monthly self-exam, reducing your alcohol consumption and exercising regularly. People who have survived breast cancer can make a difference by speaking out about their experience and volunteering to be part of the support system for someone who is currently going through treatment.

Featured photo credit: Dixie Belle Cupcake Cafe via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

10 Reasons Why You Should Get Naked More Often

10 Reasons Why You Should Get Naked More Often

Getting naked is often thought of as an act that should only be reserved for intimacy—and even then some get squirmy! Many people are more comfortable believing that the more clothes you are wearing the better. However, getting naked more often can have great benefits for you. Here are 10 great reasons to get naked more often:

1. It burns more fat.

Your body’s main supply of brown adipose tissue (BAT), or good fat cells, are located around your shoulder blades and neck. When your body is exposed to the elements and is cooler, the BAT proliferates and essentially kills the white adipose tissue, aka bad fat cells. So, not wearing any clothes helps promote this and makes you healthier.

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2. You’ll become comfortable with who you are.

Self-acceptance is hard to come by today. Ask anyone you know and see if they are happy with themselves. Chances are they will say they are too fat, not pretty, and find all of the flaws that they can. In reality, others do not see this. They see that you are beautiful. When you begin to get naked, you learn to appreciate your body and realize how beautiful you really are.

3. It saves you money.

Being naked more often saves on buying new clothing since you are wearing nothing a lot of the time. Be careful when you are in public, though—you may have to put on some clothes!

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4. It increases your immune system.

Being naked and getting exposure to the sun’s rays actually increases your body’s vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is directly related to your immune system. When you have optimal levels of vitamin D, your body’s immune system is impeccable, and you will be better equipped to ward off viruses, including the common cold and flu. So go lay outside naked on your private balcony or in your yard.

5. It makes you face your fears head on.

People cringe today when you mention the words “get naked.” They are so afraid of it—and today’s children are so ingrained with this—that they must wear layer upon layer to deal with their body image. However, when you are naked, you face your fears of body image and self-acceptance, experiencing some of the best moments of your life.

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6. You will feel better in your clothes.

When you do wear clothes (because not everyone has yet accepted being naked in public), you will start to choose clothing that accentuates the parts of your body that you love. You will begin to notice that maybe that muumuu does not flatter your beautiful curves and start wearing clothes that you love.

7. You will embrace vulnerability.

When you put yourself out there, it is a natural reaction to have fear and worry. However, this is an opportunity to embrace being vulnerable. It allows you to think and get down to the core of what really matters and what is of importance to you. When you strip away all of the excess, you are 100% you and willing to take on anything that comes your way.

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8. You will show the world the real you.

Today, we have many ways of altering our appearance from our true body image when we wear clothing. Some people alter their image so much that they fear getting naked with the person they love. It seems crazy that this could even happen; however, the rise in use of breast-enhancing bras and Spanx products has put this idea into people’s minds. This all goes back to being comfortable with your true body image. If a person really does love you, then they should not love you based upon your image. If they do, then you may even decide that the ever-so-uncomfortable leggings that go up above your waist to hold in all of the imperfections may not be worth it after all.

9. You will have fun.

Well, this could go in all sorts of directions. But when you are comfortable with your naked body and see it as being flattering, then life is more fun. You start realizing that you are beautiful and are willing to do more things that you probably would not have done otherwise—with and without your clothes on.

10. You can have intercourse with the lights on.

Many people are self-conscious about the way they look and decide that the less lighting the better when they are intimate with their partner. It’s nothing new. If you survey your best friends, you will probably come to this conclusion too. They may say that it even gets awkward, because they are more concerned with what their partner thinks of their body than just having and enjoying amazing intercourse. When you love the way you look naked, you will also want to have your partner see you at your best.

What are you waiting for? Start spending more time in the buff today and begin to change the way you think about your body.

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