The very words “breast cancer” strike fear and worry into millions of Americans every year. But what can cause even more anxiety among patients, their family members and their friends are the myths surrounding breast cancer. These myths both add to the worry of getting breast cancer and sometimes perpetuate false information, endangering people who might think they are immune.
Here are eight myths of breast cancer you might not have known.
Myth #1: Men Are Immune
Men absolutely can get breast cancer. Granted, less than 1 percent of men will actually be diagnosed, but men are not shielded from the dangers of breast cancer.
Myth #2: It’s Just In The Family
One perpetuating myth is that only women who have a family history of breast cancer will get breast cancer. However, this is absolutely incorrect. Every woman is at risk regardless of their family medical history. Only 5 to 10 percent of all women who get breast cancer get it due to the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Myth #3: Going Au Naturale Reduces Risk
Another myth about breast cancer relates to antiperspirants and under-arm deodorants. These products will not heighten the risk of breast cancer as the myth alleges. A study in 2002 by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found no connection.
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Myth #4: Mammograms Are Miracle Workers
Mammograms, while a proactive and positive step for any woman, do not prevent breast cancer. Mammograms simply locate cancerous cells, they do not prevent nor do they determine the cause or treatment options of breast cancer. Additionally, a normal mammogram does not mean the patient is out of danger.
Myth #5: Implants Implant Cancer
Breast implants do not cause cancer nor do they make it impossible for cancer to be detected. Also, women can still get mammograms while having implants.
Myth #6: Exposure Poses A Risk
Breast cancer doesn’t spread through the air like an illness. A popular myth alleges that the cancer will spread after being exposed to the air during surgery. Don’t buy into the myth, as there is no truth to breast cancer being contagious.
Myth #7: Worry About The Bra
Another myth states that there are toxins in the underwire of bras that cause cancer or that the tightness of a bra will cause cancer. This myth about the bra is just that, a myth. The type of bra or tightness of the bra poses no risk to the wearer of getting cancer.
Myth #8: All Lumps Are Cancerous
Not all lumps are cancerous. In fact, 80 percent of all lumps found in the breast are benign. Regardless, when a lump is found, a thorough examination and possible biopsy should be done by a doctor.