7 Common Breast Cancer Misconceptions

7 Common Breast Cancer Misconceptions

Breast cancer is a serious threat to individuals. According to the American Cancer Society, it’s the most common cancer in the U.S. among women — 12 percent of women will develop it during their life. There are some common misconceptions about breast cancer. Read on to learn of them.

Myth #1 – If you have a lump, you have cancer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation notes on its website that “Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.” It’s important to monitor the lump for changes and to book a breast exam if it does not go away on its own. Your doctor will order scans to find out the nature of the lump if they have any concerns.

Myth #2 – It is highly hereditary.

According to Breastcancer.org, about five to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are believed to be hereditary. But the National Breast Cancer Foundation says that if you have an immediate member of your family — like your mom — who has developed breast cancer under the age of 50, you should probably get regular screenings.

Myth #3 – Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer.

The National Cancer Institute says that its researchers haven’t come across any conclusive evidence that proves a link between deodorant/antiperspirant use and breast cancer.

Myth #4 – Only women are affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer mainly affects women, but not only. It affects over 2,000 men in the U.S. each year and kills more than 400. Men who develop breast cancer typically find a hard lump under the areola and nipple. Because instances in men are lower, a lot of men delay diagnosis, which leads to higher mortality rates.

Myth #5 – Breast cancer risk can be increased by bra type.

There are many people who think that wearing a bra with underwire puts them at a greater risk for breast cancer. This is because the wire compresses the breast, stinting the lymphatic system and building up toxins as a result. But there is no proven correlation to getting breast cancer, no matter how tight your clothing or your type of bra.

Myth #6 – Breast implants significantly increase your risk.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there has been a possible link to breast cancer and implants, but the occurrence is very low and more research needs to be done to know the extent of the link.

Myth #7 – Breast size is directly related to your risk.

There is no concrete link between breast size and breast cancer risk, according to Health.com. But it might be more difficult to detect breast cancer if you have larger breasts with clinical breast exams and even advanced imagine. You should be screened regularly, no matter your cup size.

Weight Loss Can Help PCOS Symptoms

Weight Loss Can Help PCOS Symptoms

Losing weight is a foundation in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a common female endocrine disorder where the cause is unknown. But scientists know that even a little bit of weight loss can improve the symptoms of PCOS. It’s important to work with your doctor to develop a healthy exercise and diet program for you if you suffer from PCOS.

People with PCOS have ovaries that produce excess androgens, which are commonly referred to as male sex hormones. It’s normal for healthy ovaries to make small amounts of androgens, but too much causes hormonal problems, such as menstrual irregularities, fertility problems, excess hair growth, obesity, and acne. According to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as many as 80 percent of those with PCOS are either overweight or obese.

A hallmark of this disorder is insulin resistance. The pancreas secrete this hormone in order to regulate blood glucose levels, but a lot of women with PCOS are resistant to its effects; therefore, the pancreas secrete more insulin, which leads to increased insulin levels. Insulin also stimulates androgen production in both polycystic and normal ovaries, which suggests that high insulin levels that come from insulin resistance contribute to excess androgens.

The main goal for people with PCOS is improving insulin resistance, which is where weight loss comes into the picture. You can help decrease abnormalities in hormones by losing body weight. In fact, losing as little as five percent of your body weight can improve insulin resistance and lead to improvements in certain PCOS symptoms such as menstrual function, reducing androgen levels, and improving cholesterol.

According to data from review in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a diet that is geared towards the improvement of insulin sensitivity is likely to offer more promising results that a traditional, low calorie diet. Researchers looked at existing data on diets for weight loss with different compositions in those with PCOS. Even though weight loss happened on all diets, regardless of composition, a controlled carbohydrate diet led to more improvements in insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, menstrual regularity, and quality-of-life. According to the review, a high carbohydrate diet led to higher androgen levels.

7 Facts about Menstrual Cups You Need to Know

7 Facts about Menstrual Cups You Need to Know

The chances are good that you’ve heard about menstrual cups. They’re the latest in period protection. They’ve actually been around since the mid-1900s, but women in the US are rediscovering these small silicone devices, and many consider them an eco-friendly, less expensive alternative to pads and tampons. Read on to learn some important factors to consider about menstrual cups.

They are eco-friendly.

Feminine products generate a lot of trash, so cutting back on the amount you throw away can make a big difference in your ecological footprint. Menstrual cups last three to four years.

They’re budget-friendly.

Just consider how much you spend on feminine products over the course of three to four years and compare that to about $30 for a menstrual cup.

They come in different sizes.

Most brands carry two: one for women under 30 and who have not been pregnant and another for women over 30. It’s nearly impossible for one to be too large. “They’re not very big—maybe 3 to 4 centimeters across, and they collapse,” says Jen Gunter, MD, director of pelvic pain and vulvovaginal disorders at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco.. “The vagina is built to stretch.”

They take a little practice.

They are fairly simple to insert, but “there’s a little bit of a learning curve with taking them out, just to make sure you’re not spilling,” says Gunter. You should get the hang of it after a few tries. Also, you shouldn’t feel it (like a tampon); it’s in the wrong spot if it’s uncomfortable.

They carry risks like tampons.

The warning notice for toxic shock syndrome (TSS) applies to your menstrual cup, too. TSS is rare, but it’s important to follow instructions and remove and clean it at least every 12 hours.

They’re important to clean.

You have to be sure you’re cleaning your menstrual cup correctly when you take it out. “You’re supposed to wash it with oil-free, unscented soap every 12 hours,” says Gunter. If you happen to be in a public restroom, rinse it with drinkable water or wipe it out with a tissue. Don’t use a feminine wipe because it can irritate the vagina. Wash it properly the next time you get a chance. Gunter recommends giving it an extra thorough wash or boiling it in a pot of water for five to 10 minutes at the end of each cycle.

They are sanitary.

Menstrual cups are not gross. As long as you’re taking care of it properly, they are just as sanitary as any other product.

6 Ways Sex Improves Physical and Mental Health

6 Ways Sex Improves Physical and Mental Health

Having sex is an amazing way for couples to connect, but there’s so much more to it than that. Sex has been proven to have both short and long-term health benefits. Read on to learn some ways that sex can improve your mental and physical health.

Improves heart health.

Sexual activity is key to getting the heart pumping more quickly, says the American Heart Association. Having sex can be the equivalent of climbing two or more flights of stairs, for those who are not in the best physical condition or are older. Sexual activity will improve your heart health, which gives you more energy and stamina. The American Heart Association notes that sex is generally safe for people with cardiovascular disease that want to maintain or improve their life’s quality.

Naturally lifts mood.

Sex leads to the release of oxytocin (sometimes known as the cuddle or love hormone, which usually leads to a higher mood.

Decreases anxiety and stress.

Studies have shown that feelings of nervousness can be reduced through intimacy. Regular sex is a good anxiety-reducer, especially if it’s with a trusted partner.

Helps women with bladder control.

A lot of women experience urinary incontinence because of weak pelvic floor muscles. This can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. According to an article in Cosmopolitan Magazine, intense orgasms in women are similar a “trip to the gym for your pelvic floor.” Having a healthy pelvic floor also leads to better sensation during sex and orgasms that are more intense.

Improved skin.

Sex can actually help you look younger, according to a 2013 article in the Huffington Post. Regular sexual activity can make adults who are older look up to seven years younger without anything else needed. This is because sex releases anti-inflammatory molecules that heal blemishes on the skin. Sex also helps you sweat impurities from your pores and helps women naturally moisturize their skin because it increases estrogen levels.

Improved sleep.

A lot of us have trouble sleeping at night because of life’s stresses and other factors. According to Women’s Health magazine, one in six women report better sleep after sex. That may not be all women, but it’s still a significant number. Oxytocin is responsible for feelings of peace and love and it blocks the stress hormone, cortisol. The increased levels of estrogen that are a result of sex can also improve the quality of the REM cycle, which means a more deep and restful sleep.

Progesterone Supplements Can Ease Endometriosis Pain

Progesterone Supplements Can Ease Endometriosis Pain

The majority of tissues in the body grow only in specific areas, but endometrial tissue is an exception. It lines the inside of the uterus and sometimes shows up in areas that are far away from the uterus. This causes the disease “endometriosis”. During your periods, endometrial tissue outside of the uterus builds up before breaking down, as if it were in the uterus. Those who suffer from endometriosis also experience chronic pain. Pills that are progesterone-only prevent menstrual bleeding that makes endometriosis worse.

Every month, endometrial tissue outside and inside the uterus thickens due to female hormones in order for an embryo to implant. If you do not get pregnant, menstrual bleeding occurs as the endometrial tissue is shed. Irritation and even scarring can happen in areas affected by endometriosis, which usually includes the intestines, ovaries, or bladder. More of this irritation and scarring can occur each time the tissue bleeds. Women with this disease often have some degree of infertility that is caused by damage to the fallopian tubes or ovaries. Progesterone pills get in the way of the normal hormone cycle and prevent endometrial tissue from becoming thick and shedding.

Usually progesterone is present in only small amounts in the first half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is a female hormone that’s responsible for changing the uterine lining post-ovulation in order for an embryo to implant. After ovulation, levels increase and drop if you don’t get pregnant. When levels drop, the uterine lining breaks down. If you take progesterone each day throughout your menstrual cycle, your ovaries don’t develop an egg in the month because your body is tricked by high progesterone levels, into thinking that it has already made an egg. Taking progesterone continuously means you won’t get your period and bleeding won’t happen in the places impacted by endometriosis.

Certain birth control pills contain what is called “progestin” (artificial progesterone). There isn’t any estrogen in progestin-only pills and since the ovary produces an egg each month just under estrogen’s influence, regular menstrual periods don’t happen. Women often experience spotting in the first three to six months on the pill as their body gets used to hormone levels that are changing.

Approximately 75 percent of women with endometriosis experience an easing of pain with progesterone therapy. Taking progesterone pills does not get rid of damage that has already been caused by endometriosis, but they do help prevent further damage to the tissues. Speak with your doctor about the possible side effects of progesterone supplements.

Sleep Deprivation Can Dampen Your Sex Drive and More

Sleep Deprivation Can Dampen Your Sex Drive and More

Everyone knows that sleep is important, but many of us still don’t get enough of it. Of course sleep deprivation depletes your energy and makes it difficult to focus on things. Read on to learn more ways that sleep deprivation affects your body and mind.

It can dampen your sex drive.

According to research, getting six hours of sleep or less each night can lead to lower levels of testosterone in both women and men. If you combine that with lower levels of energy, drowsiness, and more tension because of a lower stress threshold, sex is not going to be the first thing on your mind.

It can age your skin.

Not getting enough sleep does a lot more to the way you look than just giving you under-eye bags. Your body responds by releasing extra cortisol (the stress hormone), which can break down your skin’s collagen and make it more likely to become wrinkled, discolored, and dull. The skin also depends on human growth hormone (HGH) to replenish and repair itself. HGH is released when you get a good night’s sleep, so you’re not getting enough HGH release if you don’t rest well, which can affect the body, night after night.

It makes it more difficult for you to recognize facial expressions.

According to a study out of UC Berkeley, sleep deprivation makes it more difficult to read faces. Eighteen healthy participants were asked to interpret 70 facial expressions, once after they had a good night of sleep and again after they stayed awake for a period of 24 hours. Brain scans showed that when the individuals were deprived of sleep, they could not tell the difference between a threatening facial expression and a friendly one because the emotion-sensing parts of their brains were overestimating threat’s presence.

It makes you feel hungrier.

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects the brain’s pleasure response processing in relation to cravings and hunger. The hunger hormones (leptin and ghrelin) are thrown off. Leptin tells you when you are full and ghrelin signals hunger. When you are sleep deprived, leptin typically decreases and ghrelin increases.

It can cause depression symptoms.

Some studies have shown that individuals who suffered from insomnia were at risk of experiencing depression five times more than a person who gets enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can worsen depression symptoms and depression can actually make it more difficult for some people to fall asleep, which is a tough cycle to break. If you believe your depression is linked to poor sleep quality, begin by visiting a professional who can help you treat sleep issues or lifestyle habits that may be contributing to your symptoms.

 

5 Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

5 Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the U.S. and the fifth most common that affects women in the U.S. Medical News Today says that one in about 70 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during her life. Read on to learn some of the risk factors for ovarian cancer.

Smoking

Cigarette smoking is considered to be a culprit for three percent of cases of ovarian cancer. Women who currently smoke are 31 to 49 percent more likely to develop ovarian mucinous cancer compared to those who’ve never smoked. The length http://www.activebeat.co/your-health/women/7-common-risk-factors-for-ovarian-cancer/of time smoking matters significantly.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS can increase the risk for certain cancers including ovarian and breast cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer is tripled for those who suffer from PCOS. It’s important to have annual pelvic exams to screen for ovarian cancer, especially if you have been diagnosed with PCOS.

Age

There are a number of age differentiators that can predispose women to ovarian cancer later, according to research from the Mayo Clinic. For example, early menstruation — before age 12— is connected to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Also, if you begin menopause after age 52, you may be at a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer can affect women of any age group, but is most likely to develop in those between ages 50 and 60.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation

These inherited gene mutations are a lesser cause of ovarian cancer (and breast cancer), according to the Mayo Clinic. These genes also cause Lynch syndrome, which is a kind of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) caused by the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. Lynch syndrome is connected to higher rates of ovarian cancer.

Fertility treatment

Certain studies that are quoted by the National Cancer Society connect the usage of some fertility drugs to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. For example, they point to the drug clomiphene citrate taken for longer than a year as a risk factor for low malignant potential ovarian tumors. Doctors should advise those undergoing fertility treatments of the risk factors. For example, the risks are quite a bit higher in women who are infertile and unable to conceive while taking the drug compared to those who become pregnant and carry a baby to term normally.