While there’s a lot of information available about breast cancer, there are also a lot of myths floating around. When people start to believe these myths, it leads to a lot of unnecessary worries that can impact good prevention and treatment. With this in mind, here’s some help with untangling the facts from fiction.
Myth #1: If you find a lump in your breast, you have cancer.
This isn’t true. In fact, most lumps are caused by noncancerous changes and cysts. They occur because your breast tissue is continually changing as your hormone levels fluctuate. This is especially true if you’re menstruating or breastfeeding. So instead of worrying about every lump, pay special attention to those that are harder, feel different from others, or change over time.
Myth #2: Pain in your breast is a sign of cancer.
Typically, breast cancer isn’t painful. Discomfort is normal in the week leading up to your period. If it persists beyond then, talk to your doctor, especially if you have other risk factors for breast cancer.
Myth #3: It’s hereditary.
While 90% of this cancer is due to lifestyle and environmental factors, only about 10% is hereditary. This is important to understand because there are things you can do to prevent this disease, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and limiting how much alcohol you drink.
Myth #4: Only women get this cancer.
Breast cancer facts show that while more women are affected, men can also get this cancer. Unfortunately, men have a higher mortality rate because people think this myth is a fact and fail to seek treatment in time.
Myth #5: Only post-menopausal women develop this cancer.
While it’s true that age is one of the risk factors for breast cancer, young women develop it, too. Unfortunately, the mortality rate is higher in this age group because it is frequently diagnosed in its later stages in younger women. At this point, the cancer is more aggressive. Even if it isn’t fatal, it will often come back again.
Myth #6: Underwire bras cause cancer.
This myth says that wearing your bra too much prevents your pores from sweating. As sweat accumulates, toxins build up and this results in cancer. Breast cancer facts from the American Cancer Society (ACS) state that no scientific studies suggest that this is true.
Myth #7: Deodorant causes breast cancer.
While you may be concerned about the chemicals in the products you use, there’s no scientific evidence that they cause cancer. You can also trust your lymph nodes to funnel any other chemicals through your kidneys and out of your body.
Myth #8: Breast cancer is one disease.
The truth is that breast cancer is a complex group of different types of tumors. There are 10 different subtypes known, which is why there are so many different treatment options available today.
Myth #9: Stress causes cancer.
There’s some weak scientific research showing the link here, but it’s unrealistic to think we can completely avoid stress. Long periods of stress do cause health problems, which is why it’s important to get it under control. But feeling a little stressed doesn’t lead to cancer.
Myth #10: Mammograms cause cancer.
Although there is a small amount of radiation exposure involved in mammograms, the amount of exposure is quite low. Mammograms are the best way of detecting cancer early on because they can detect lumps before they can even be felt. Don’t skip a mammogram out of fear.
If you’re still concerned or have any questions about cancer, BASS Medical Group can help. Their elite team is made up of doctors who are experts in their respective fields. BASS Medical Group has many convenient locations in the greater San Francisco area. Call (925) 350-4044 to learn more or schedule an appointment.