News | October 16, 2007

Many Women Misinformed About Breast Cancer Causes, Detection

October 17, 2007 - The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) recently released the results of a survey pertaining to how informed women are about breast cancer, showing that while 75 percent of those surveyed considered themselves knowledgeable about the disease, this was not the case.
The survey included responses from 1,004 women over the age of eighteen. According to the NBCC, the following results illustrate that women's beliefs about breast cancer are not always accurate:
-56% of women thought breast cancer occurs among women with a family history or a genetic predisposition to the disease. Reality: over two thirds of women diagnosed have no known risk factors. Moreover, only 5% to 10% of breast cancer patients had a genetic predisposition to the disease.
-39% of women thought that the most progress has been made in promoting self-exams as an effective means of detecting breast cancer. Reality: While breast self-exams are typically recommended as part of breast cancer screening, women 40 years of age and older are usually recommended to receive annual mammograms, and all women are recommended to receive annual clinical breast exams to help detect the disease in early stages.
-78% of women ages 18-24 believed a diet rich in fruits and vegetables plays a significant role in helping to prevent breast cancer. Reality: there is little scientific evidence that such a diet can significantly decrease the incidence of breast cancer.

In addition to presenting this survey, the NBCC recently launched the Breast Cancer Caucus, which calls on presidential candidates to explain their specific approaches to breast cancer research, prevention and care, and outline their plans for universal health care.
For more information and

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