The moment you feel a lump in your breast, chances are that you relate it to breast cancer. When your friends tell you wearing a bra may cause breast cancer, you tend to believe that. But understand that these are untrue and unproven myths. There are many such myths about breast cancer. Even though awareness about breast cancer has risen enormously, it has not stopped many women from believing such myths. Get ready for a surprise as we bust these myths for you.
Fact: Ninety percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.
It is often believed that if anyone in your family has cancer, you will also have breast cancer in the future. But it is not scientifically proven. However, some scientific studies suggest that the risk is slightly higher for those with a family history of breast cancer. That does not mean that if there is no such family history, you will be cancer-free forever.
Fact: Even though not common, men also get breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of men getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. They estimate that about 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in the United States in 2017. As per their estimate, 460 men will die from breast cancer.
Fact: Sometimes, people diagnosed with breast cancer do not have any symptoms.
Women often associate lumps and pains in the breast with cancer. However, most lumps detected in women are not harmful in nature. It may be due to fibrocystic conditions. However, if you feel a lump in your breast, consult a doctor for a final word, instead of assuming it is safe.
Fact: Mammograms help you detect breast cancer. Nothing else.
Early detection of breast cancer is very important for treating it. Mammograms help you identify breast cancer in its earliest stages. It will not prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer. Some fear radiation from these mammograms. However, radiation doses are not high enough to cause you any harm.
Fact: Even though most cases are reported in postmenopausal women, breast cancer can affect people of any age.
Most cases of breast cancer are found in women who are 50 or older. But it does not mean that young women are out of danger. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age. Hence, do not assume that you’re in the clear simply because you are younger. Don’t forget to go for regular mammograms.
Fact: Mastectomy – removal of the whole breast, happens depending on the extent of the tumor.
Women with early-stage cancers choose either breast-conserving surgery (BCS) or mastectomy. Opting for BCS means you can keep most of your breast.
Fact: By using these toiletries, you do not end up with cancer.
Since deodorants and antiperspirants, which contain potentially harmful ingredients, are applied near the breast, many have linked them with breast cancer. In reality, there is no scientific evidence to prove that use of these products will lead to the development of breast cancer.
Fact: Underwire bras do not cause breast cancer.
Many women strongly believe that underwire bras and wearing a bra at night cause breast cancer. The myth is based on the notion that tight fitting bras with an underwire obstruct lymph fluid and trap toxins in the breast tissue, resulting in cancer. However, like all other myths, it is not proven.
Fact: There is no study to suggest that a biopsy can spread cancer cells.
A biopsy is done to find out the presence of cancer in your body. It is very important to confirm whether a lump in your breast is cancerous or not. During the biopsy, a thin needle is used to extract a few cells from a tumor mass for further examination. Some fear it may spread cancer cells. This is simply a myth and there is no credence to this theory.
Instead of believing all these myths, understand these facts about breast cancer. Examine yourself. Know your body well. Self-exams can give you a hint if something goes wrong. And make sure that you talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.