Saturday, October 2, 2010

Let's hear it for "the girls!"

The idea for this post came to me today, partly because October is breast cancer awareness month and partly because I watched the movie Footloose last night and have been humming “Let’s hear it for the boy” most of the day (never mind that Kevin Bacon’s co-star, Lori Singer, doesn’t appear to own a bra during the filming of that slightly controversial, very sweaty blockbuster hit). Myth #1: Wearing a bra causes breast cancer. Myth #2: Wearing deodorant causes breast cancer.

I think that everyone who has seen the film would agree that there is an awful lot of moving going on and not enough hydrating (unless you count the few scenes where the actors are drinking beer). Myth #3: Drinking water from plastic bottles (especially those left in a hot car) causes breast cancer. Myth #4: Drinking red wine can prevent breast cancer.

Like the well-intentioned folks of Beaumont, TX, we tend to create our own solutions to hard-to-answer problems. In Footloose, the town made it illegal to dance, believing this was the solution that would keep the youth of the community from becoming corrupt. Similarly, it is out of fear that we create our own myths and rumors about how to prevent a disease we feel we have very little control over. In both cases, the plan backfires. Myth #5: A diagnosis of breast cancer is an automatic death sentence.

In the movie, corruption spreads throughout the town. Teachers are burning books and teens are driving across the state line to party. Even the pastor’s daughter “has been kissed a lot.” Myth #6: Birth control pills cause breast cancer. Myth #7: Breast cancer is determined by breast size.

It’s true that many of the risk factors associated with the development of breast cancer are out of our control to prevent (genetics, age, etc…). However, there are a few things every person (Myth #8: Only women can develop breast cancer) can do to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer as well as other forms of disease:

Eat healthy
Control your weight
Don’t smoke
Limit alcohol intake
Routine screening (Myth #9: Mammograms cause breast cancer)

Seems fairly obvious, right? If you want to be healthy, act healthy. That’s not a guilt-trip, nor is it a demand or command. It’s an invitation to get up…it’s our time to dance!

Oh yeah and one last thing, having a risk factor for breast cancer does not mean you will get the disease (that’s myth #10 and my personal favorite to debunk!).


  1. worthy topic, good info, and gotta love those old movies - thanks, Kristin!

  2. Nice to have you back. That was a good one. Maybe drinking water from a plastic bottle thats been in your car and warm can contribute to cancer. I thought?