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In Cancer News… Skirts?

So last week in the span of about five minutes I saw three articles about the dangers of increasing skirt size and breast cancer risk.  dmedina_morguefile

Seriously, can we get some better headlines? Maybe that sounds a little cranky, but it’s from the perspective of a woman who:

a) Never wears skirts, and

b) Is a demon for health literacy

This skirt thing is a disservice to a ton of women. Really. Many of us don’t wear them, ever, so using a headline talking about “skirt size” is completely alienating and a huge education opportunity lost. It’s a cute little gimmick that definitely isn’t for all.

Beyond skirts, what did the research say? It’s been known for a while that excess weight is connected to cancer risk overall. Obesity is associated with higher risk of a number of cancers. This recently reported research says it’s a thickening waist specifically that increases risk for breast cancer, hence the measure of the skirt size that hit the headlines. If you need to go up a size in clothes with a waistband just once over ten years, the risk of breast cancer goes up 33%. If it’s a two size increase, there’s a 77% greater risk. Whether you wear skirts or not, that’s the piece to take away.

Other health literacy cancer news from last week looked at  “The Angelina Effect”.  Angelina Jolie went public about her double mastectomy after finding she carried a gene mutation that put her at significant risk for breast cancer. Her story has caused many women with a family history of breast cancer to get tested for the gene mutation.  That’s a successful health literacy share!


Janet  |  @janet_madsen


Photo: DMedina, MorgueFile

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