Breast Cancer Myths and Facts

Breast Cancer month is here and it is important to bust myths that make people paranoid or keep them from getting frequent screenings done.

It is true that Breast Cancer is becoming a well-talked about cancer and disease in the world but there are still some misconceptions that need to be busted for you all to have correct knowledge about it.

If you or you have someone in your life who has experienced breast cancer you would know many common myths you get to hear about this cancer. And it might get hard to separate the myths from facts because myths are more believed in and spread than facts themselves.

The more you know the better and that is why you need to know the truth behind these myths. Here is the list of the most common myths.

MYTH: If you don’t have a family history of Breast Cancer, you won’t get it.

FACT: Most people detected with this have no history of Breast Cancer however people who have family have a risk of developing it but these chances aren’t any higher than a person with no family history developing it. According to researches, only 5-10% of Breast Cancer cases are passed on in the family through mutations in genes. The biggest factor is lifestyle and environment. If it isn’t from family history, it’s hard to tell the cause of cancer.

But if you do have a history of this cancer in your family, mother’s or father’s side, you should get checked regularly and should self-examine like all other women. Family history is still an important risk factor. 

MYTH: If you have Breast Cancer, you’ll feel the lump 

FACT: Sometimes lumps can’t be felt or detected in the early stages that is why an annual mammogram is important and encouraged. Detecting no change in self-examination does not mean that mammograms can be skipped. There are some similar myths about Breast Cancer lumps like if the lump is painful, it isn’t Breast Cancer or if the lump is moving under the skin freely then it is not Breast Cancer should be ignored.

If a lump is felt, it is important that the person should get it checked soon.

Breast Cancer

MYTH: This affects only middle-aged or older women

FACT: The actual truth is it can affect younger women and men as well. Although the chances of women getting this cancer are less, not zero which does mean that frequent self-examination and mammograms are important. Breast Cancer in men is also rare but not zero, so they should also get checked if any changes appear.

It is important to get self-examined and screened frequently for young women as well. 

Breast Cancer
Breast cancer unity and friendship, happy women of different age groups joining hands and wearing pink ribbons
MYTH: If the cancer is detected early and treated completely, it won’t ever recur. 

FACT: Even if a person gets treated completely in the early stages, they will still be at the risk of getting Breast Cancer again. It is said by many that if cancer hasn’t moved from breast and underarm lymph nodes, it is too early and treatment means it won’t be back. However, the risk is never gone for anyone. There is another myth in this domain which is that if cancer doesn’t come back in 5 years then you are not at risk. This may be true to some extent but not completely. the risk of cancer coming back is higher in 2 to 5 years of recovery but that doesn’t mean the risk is completely over.

Risk is less if it doesn’t occur in 2 to 5 years but is not completely gone.

MYTH: Bras cause Breast Cancer

FACT: There is no evidence that this cancer is linked to bras of any sort, especially underwired bras. The bra most commonly blamed for the cancer is “Underwired Bra” which is not true however the internet has made this myth one of the most common ones. The theory behind it is that bras keep lymph fluids from leaving the breast which can cause a toxic build-up and cause cancer.

No evidence points towards bras being a risk factor. 

Breast Cancer

It is highly necessary to get some research done before believing in myths of these sorts which make the people leave out of frequent screenings and self-examination or make people completely paranoid.

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Read our previous article:

All You Need To Know About Breast Cancer Awareness Month