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By X. Malir. Gannon University. 2017.

Public awareness of breast cancer has intensified the demand for screening tests which promise early diagnosis buy discount augmentin 625 mg online. The most basic is the technique of breast self-examination, which is generally recognised to be much more effective in generating anxiety than it is at detecting tumours (Austoker 1994a). Women’s magazines and health promotion leaflets are still offering detailed diagrams and earnest advice about 61 SCREENING how to detect lumps—resulting in a steady flow of frightened women, some scarcely out of their teens, who are more likely to win the national lottery than to have breast cancer. Another consequence of greater breast cancer awareness is the demand to extend mammography to women in their 40s. According to one commentator, this has provoked a debate in the USA ‘out of proportion to its potential impact on public health’ (Wells 1998). Despite the fact that numerous trials have failed to confirm the efficacy of this technique in younger women—and despite concerns that the radiation exposure involved might do greater harm— political pressures resulting from disease awareness campaigns have resulted in younger women having mammograms. Women who have had breast cancer are perhaps the greatest casualties of breast awareness. It is not only that they are reminded of their disease every time they turn on the television or open a newspaper or magazine—and every time they see a pink ribbon on the bus or train. The popular discussion of the role of lifestyle factors in predisposing women to breast cancer compounds women’s worries about their future with guilty reflections on their past behaviour. This is encouraged by epidemiological surveys which report the loosest of associations as causal influences. Thus the risk of breast cancer appears to be increased in women who have no children or who have them after the age of 30; in women who have taken the oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy; in women who drink alcohol and have a high fat diet. The relatively strong influence of family history on chances of getting breast cancer provides further scope for recriminations about genetic destiny and fatalistic ruminations about dying a premature and disfiguring death.

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