Too Right they do. Whenever I start to think of things such as alcohol diet etc., and how the media quickly latch onto such things when trying to explain away how women in the western world develop cancer, I alway think of Linda McCartney, Slim, healthy lifestyle diet etc., also being one of the wealthiest wommen with access to excellent healthcare. All this did not prevent her from developing breast cancer. Also, when I was diagnosed almost 2 & half years ago, I had to attend radiotherpy sessions over a two month period, not one of the women waiting in the clinic were overweight, I would describe them as thin or very slim. With this evidence I would say that the myth pedalled by the media can be blown right out of the water.
You know, Cherub, I have a friend who won't have mammograms for fear they will give her cancer. She's had poor health for years but trusts alternative therapies and exclusion diets more than doctors.
I suppose we all know people whose way of denying the possibility of cancer is by assigning blame to those who have it, but slim teetotallers get BC as well. Even slim teetotal vegans can get BC.
I hope you can put the nonsense behind you and enjoy the cinema again soon.
I loathe all these articles. I used to like a few glasses of wine at the weekends and over 5 years ago I was a social smoker (only if I was out, never smoked at work when it was still allowed years back and not at home). I've also been a bit overweight since my mid 30s (put it on as a mature student). However, I go to the gym twice a week, eat healthily, walk for miles etc.
However, my elder sister is very slim, she has been on a constant diet since she was 16 (so since 1969!), she never smoked, didn't used to drink very much and is now tee total as she lives in a dry country. I pretty much KNOW she thinks I was responsible for my own cancer and it is horrible, she was staying with me last week and the strain was appalling. I have been depressed since she left at the weekend as my husband was away seeing his sister in London, so I had 2 days on my own to dwell on things.
I also had an acutely hypochondriac cousin on the phone last week telling me I shouldn't be going for any more mammograms as I will just get cancer again - this nutcase told me I should stop chemo as well when I was having treatment 4 years ago.
I just find it all so offensive and I could scream. I've worked hard to get where I am and am on a very even keel at the moment, unfortunately the past week with my sister and then my cousin's comments have knocked the wind from my sails a bit. I was at the cinema last night and missed half the film as this was all swimming round in my head.
My mother was tee total, never smoked admittedly she was overweight. She never abused her body in any way and still she got bc. My mother in law eats a healthy diet, plenty of excercise, doesnt smoke or drink and is not overweight, how do they explain the fact she got bc.
Sometimes I think the media hype up these articles, somebody told me the other day I was at risk as I have not had children however my mother had 4 children....I am no medical expert but I think the reasons for this disease are complex and what may apply to one person may not apply to another.
My philosophy is that I will be vigilant, I dont drink or smoke and I take excercise, more than this I cannot do.
Health News from NHS Choices, which has a feed you can sign up for, has a much more balanced view of all this, and on why the figures might not support the simplistic headlines of newspapers.
Here is a quote: Sarah Woolnough from Cancer Research UK said: “Comparing cancer incidence rates between different countries can be misleading due to differences in how the data is collected. In some countries, such as the UK, the whole population is accounted for in the data. But in others the coverage is much smaller, so the overall figures may not actually be representative of the whole country.”
You can also find this comment on the news at the website, but I recommend signing up for this feed, even if you don't normally sign up for things like this. It's particularly useful if you have friends or relatives who are overly susceptible to the hyperbole and outright misinformation some of the media are prone to.
PS I'm post menopausal, which is the biggest risk factor after being female.
The other thing is, as far as I know, the studies which have linked obesity to bc relate only to post-menopausal women. Yet those who have commented on this thread appear to be pre-menopausal. There don't seem to be many published studies for pre-menopausal women. Obviously, the newspapers are not likely to make such fine distinctions.
Also, I would like to find out how overweight they considered Kylie Minogue to be and why all that jigging about the stage was insufficient exercise.
I completely agree, having read and watched these reports over the last few months, not just on breast cancer, but reports telling me that I should NOT have solely breast-fed, or weaned my child too early (1st one), too late (3rd one), or that I have damaged their development by either working full-time, part time, or staying at home(pick a child). Now I am guilty of potentially depriving them of a mother. Grrrrr does not fully express my feelings on this one, but don't want to be moderated by BCC.
Let's have a debate, let's raise awareness, let's raise money for research and care, but MEDIA - please let's not blame the very women, and men, who are at their most vulnerable, and desperately need help, not to be kicked when we are down...
I also get annoyed with these type of stats. There is no real reason for me to get BC. Not mega overweight, occasional drink, healthy diet and dont smoke.
I saw a news report last week to show the youngest reported BC - a child of 3years old in Canada. She would not have had any of vices at that age.
Thankfully they operated and feel she will make a good recovery. This illness has no respect for age or any other reason.
Its down to bad luck and I wont let anyone give me a guilt complex or say this is down to me!
I wrote a big long response, but pressed the wrong button and lost it. Not to worry (I don't stuff grapes either).
I know how many things I have done RIGHT to counteract what anyone might say I've done WRONG.
Lemongrove's got the right idea.
When I was a kid, newspaper had various uses. Chip-shops wrapped chips in it, school kids made paper-mache bowls with it, and my late mum used to put squares of newspaper on a string, so that we could use it as toilet paper. They don't wrap chips in it anymore, and I don't think kids make bowls out of it anymore, but this article reminds me that my old mum had the perfect use for it.
Peculiar isn't it, how many fat nurses there are working in hospitals? A surprising percentage of the nurses I saw at the cancer treatment hospital, the hospital where I had surgery, and the local hospital where they do the mammograms, were HUGE! And I say this as one who is significantly overweight herself!
But aside from that I sympathise with triphazard99 - my parents also get the Telegraph, and although they wouldn't be foolish enough to cut the article out and send it to me (they could predict my reaction), I can just see them nodding knowingly to each other. And that despite the family history!
According to the Independent,'Denmark has the highest ranking, but this may be due to better diagnosis and reporting there (although Danish women do also have high rates of smoking and drinking).'
Hmm, how come higher rates in other countries can be explained away?
Oh hell, if it was in the Telegraph then no doubt my 81 year old father will cut it out carefully and send it in the post to me.. unless my darling mother manages to catch him at it and intercepts the post.... grrrrr. I know darn well that no one really knows why we get bc, and that there are as many different lifestyles on here as there are different women - but it makes me furious that other people (including my family) might now assume that I've brought it all on myself because I put on weight (having/breastfeeding four children), occasionally have a beer and am too busy running around after four kids, a husband, four dogs and holding down two jobs to get to the gym....
Well, if it does arrive in the post, remind me my dear old dad is 81 and well meaning before I commit patricide...
MMMMM I was thinking exactly what several others have said....all the fatties in the hospital seem to be the staff...really sorry if that offends...not meant to at all, I just get sick to the back teeth of folks blaming me for bringing it on myself....I even had a good friend tell me that it is because I use deodorant...she meant well but...
Oh and the comments re reading trash...absolutely...but would have expected a bit more thought from what is reputed to be one of the better newspapers!!
I get really angry at how the media report on breast cancer and how they manipulate statistics to get a cheap headline.
My mum was diagnosed at 43, I was 41 and we have a high incidence of other related cancers in the (maternal side) family.
Pre-diagnosis I exercised 3 times a week, was a size 14 (always have been) and ate a healthy diet. Why did I get cancer? I believe it was in my genes when I was born.
It's not only a really cheap shot to suggest lifestyle alone is the bc trigger, but naive, uninformed etc...Shame so many people read this trash.
I didn't buy the paper but read it in the Co-op (plenty of space by the news stand). I was overweight before bc and didn't do enough exercise (roughly once a week instead of the recommended 3 to 4 times) but didn't drink excessively. I'm still overweight and I guess anyone I now who has read that article will think that's the explanation. I think it's more complicated but if people think it's my fault, nothing I can do about that.
Sorry - I did mean the patients.
Oh yes you do - and they're the ones who work at the hospital! There seems to be a disproportionate amount of "larger" people working at my hospital, which I find surprising as if there's a work environment where healthy living should be promoted, it's the hospitals!
Another sensation grabbing headline - which worked as I did buy the paper but since I eat pretty healthily, have low to zero alcohol consumption and do strenuous exercise this BC is not my fault and agree with topsymo you don't see many overweight people at the clinic - I certainly didn't on my visit today.
I do so agree with all that's been written: what a very unhelpful slant the Telegraph has put on the stats- - depressing though they are.
Still I guess they need sensation to sell the papers and its easy to slew the whole study by quoting selective extracts.
Have to say I never seemed to see all these unhealthy, obese people during my time in the oncolgy and rads dept: the women there always seemed slim- especially the younger ones.. There did actually seem to be plenty of the 'generously proportioned' sitting in the snack bars or going between the various other departments....and quite a lot of them were in nurses' uniforms................
I think did all the right things and don't drink and gave up smoking 30 years ago but of course I took HRT (and would do so again!) .........and then I got old...... so that was my second "wrong thing"!
If there's anything good to come out of it, it is at least putting breast cancer in the news again, and might prompt people to check themselves and get referred if there is cause for concern.
And that's about the only good thing I can think of! As usual, the headline-grabbing soundbites don't even scratch the surface, but do you honestly expect anything more from the media?
It is always breast cancer that gets cited I am sure because it is mostly women who get it. we often give ourselves enough of a hard time feeling guilty thinking we must have done something wrong in our lives to make us get it without these articles adding fuel. I just hope that when the proper research being done (can't remember which charity?) with 100,000 women we may get some proper answers.
If I am to blame for getting this because I drank too much or ate badly then so be it - I will take responsibility but so many of us do these things should we really pile on that guilt to how bad we feel already for making our loved ones go through the pain of seeing us deal with this. I think not
I saw this in the paper this morning and it made me so angry.I was never overweight before I had bc I am now cos of the stupid drugs. Had the odd glass of wine but was busy having 4 children all breast fed and had them young I was 39 when first diagnosed according to cancer research I should of been in the low risk group. Fed up with feeling this is all my fault!!!!!
what a load of tosh, dont even bother reading it. Beaurocrats, news reporters, drugs company, politicians will all come up with some such nonsense when the truth is they dont have a clue.
AGree also! I've been beating myself up a lot lately over my diet (I really should eat oily fish when I absolutely hate it etc etc). Probably genetic with me as my mum (diagnosed 3 weeks after me), aunt, grandmother, great aunt also had BC.
Agree that these articles can be unhelpful. Did I get BC because I drink too much or because my Mum and her mother (both teetotallers) both had BC? I suspect the genetic factor is stronger.
OK...so then why have I got it...because it is probably genetic!
I just hate these sort of articles as it fuels the 'lets beat ourselves uo because we caused it' demon lurking in our minds....its always breast cancer that they use as an example never prostate etc....its the same sort of thing that makes headlines 'with children suffer when women work'....just kick us in the teeth again!
I have an inkling that we in the west have other factors in our lives that cause many cancers to kick off....one being that less of us die in infancy etc. Survival of the fittest works in many poor countries just like it used to here before the advent of modern medicine and the more folks live the more cancers etc get diagnosed....
Also how are people to think and feel when they may have had the odd glass or 2 and are made to feel its their fault...its disgusting!
I for one as many of you know lead a v healthy lifestyle and am not over weight and dont drink a lot.....same with my mum, gran, aunt and daughter...should I beat myself up that I like the odd beer, brew my own wine, eat a take away about 6 times a year?....NO!
You may have seen on the news that the UK is ranked no 11 in the world for rates of breast cancer. The headline of course is that alcohol and poor diet are linked to this high incidence.
I'm all for health promotion and taking some personal responsibility but the articles I've seen don't give a very full picture at all.
They don't mention that in the more developed countries for example, women are more likely to be taking the contraceptive pill and HRT and less likely to have so many children. Also women are probably living longer on the whole in developed countries.
And is it really true that women in the UK eat more than their counterparts in the USA? I thought obesity was greater over there. Probably drinking alcohol is higher though.
I hate the fact that some people will be looking at me and thinking it's all her fault she probably drank too much or ate unhealthily. Maybe I'm being over sensitive.....
Here's a link to a piece in the Telegraph:
The data comes from the World Health Organisation and compiled by in a table by the World Cancer Research Fund: