As many of you are probably aware, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we here at Hite & Stone wanted to do our part in raising awareness. We believe the best way to raise awareness is to be informed, so we have done some research ourselves to learn more about breast cancer, the risk factors, and the likelihood of an individual developing breast cancer and we wanted to share with you what we have found.
According to studies, approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime and 1 in 833 men. We can look a little deeper into this statistic for women to help us understand the real meaning.
The research was based on the average lifespan of a woman in the US which is 80 years. So, 1 in 8 women who live to the age of 80 can expect to develop breast cancer at some point during their life. You can also flip the statistic to read 7 in 8 women will never develop breast cancer. So, an 87.5% chance that women who live to the age of 80 will not experience breast cancer during their lifetime.
Although that is a positive way to look at it, breast cancer is the leading cancer diagnosed in women in the US and has the highest death rate, besides lung cancer. Globally, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer making up 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide.
And although research states that women have about a 12% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, an individual's risk can be higher or lower than that. Certain environmental or genetic factors play a role in determining an individual's risk. Age also is a determining factor as the older a woman grows the higher her chance of breast cancer increases.
What Environmental Factors Increase the Chance of Developing Breast Cancer?
Environmental exposures that can increase your risk of breast cancer can include exposure to building materials such as asbestos, exposure to chemical weed killers such as RoundUp, and exposure to radiation. Some ingredients in personal care products have also been linked with breast cancer.
Which Ingredients in Personal Care Products are Linked to Breast Cancer?
Oxybenzone (BP3): Found in sunscreens as an ingredient.
PFAs, PFOS, PTFE (Perfluoroalkoxy Polymer Compounds): Found in non-stick pans, stain resistant products, makeup, sunscreen, shampoo, shaving cream, certain dental floss, anti-aging creams, waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. Look for the words “fluoro, perfluorononyl dimethicone or perfluorodecalin or PTFE” on product labels to avoid these chemicals.
Triclosan: Found in shampoos, body wash, certain toothpaste brands, and deodorant. Banned from antibacterial soaps, may have an estrogenic effect.
Artificial Fragrance: Found in perfume, moisturizers, shampoos and other personal hygiene products. May contain toxins, such as phthalates, which have been linked with breast cancer.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): Found in certain nail polish brands.
Parabens (Methyl, Ethyl, Butyl, and Propyl Parabens): Found in body and hand lotions, hand creams, facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Mimic estrogen and linked to breast cancer.
How Can You Avoid Toxins in Personal Care Products?
Familiarizing yourself with harmful chemicals found in some products and the way they are listed as ingredients is the first step to avoiding them. Some ingredients will have quite long names which will be shortened for ingredient lists. For example, Dibutyl Phthalate is shortened to DBP on some products.
You can also download apps on your cell phone that will rate products on their ingredients and help you identify which ones to avoid. One great app is called “Think Dirty” and will allow you to scan the barcode of an item to find out the toxicity of the product.
Can I Sue a Company if Their Product Gives Me Cancer?
If you believe that you have suffered from cancer because of a product you have used frequently throughout your life, we want to help. Hite & Stone has nearly five decades of collective experience and we will treat your best interests as our highest priority. Product Liability and Premise Liability cases involve extensive research to prove that your suffering was caused by another’s negligent actions and you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation - 864.366.5400