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Breast Cancer – Myth vs. Fact

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MYTH 1:

Women with smaller breasts have less chance of getting breast cancer.

FACT:

Women of all breast sizes can get breast cancer because the disease is a result of abnormalities in the milk ducts and mammary glands. Breast sizes only vary due to the amount of non-cancerous fatty tissues in the breasts. Women with larger breasts have nothing to fear if the amount of milk ducts and mammary glands remain normal. However, if breasts are large because of dense breast tissue, getting regular mammograms at the hospital is recommended as the chance of breast cancer increases.

MYTH 2:

Wearing antiperspirant increases my risk of getting breast cancer.

FACT:

The American Cancer Institute is not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.

MYTH 3:

Wearing an underwire bra increases my risk of getting breast cancer.

FACT:

The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have refuted this claim, providing evidence that women who have not been exposed to underwire do not, in fact, get breast cancer less than women who have.

MYTH 4:

Taking vitamins can cause breast cancer.

FACT:

Women going through menopause can develop breast cancer from taking estrogen or hormone-aiding vitamins, such as Omega-3 fatty acids.

MYTH 5:

Breast cancer is caused by plastic surgery.

FACT:

There is no irritation caused by breast augmentation that inserts silicone or saline solution underneath the skin. There is also no concrete evidence that proves breast cancer can be caused by direct injection of paraffin and silicone.

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MYTH 6:

Radiation from breast cancer screening is dangerous to to your health.

FACT:

The radiation only becomes dangerous if you have undergone the breast screening process 100 or more times.

MYTH 7:

Pressure applied to the breasts during a mammogram can cause the breasts to inflame, increasing the risk of breast cancer.

FACT:

Now, new technology allows for mammograms to be less painful, applying much less pressure to the breasts while maintaining the integrity of the imaging.

MYTH 8:

Having a mammogram is enough.

FACT:

Mammography alone is not enough to detect breast cancer. Though Mammograms are 80 percent accurate, they may not be able to detect abnormal lumps of a miniscule size. Therefore, an ultrasound is also recommended, as it increases the level of accuracy from 80 percent to 85-90 percent. A breast-examination by a specialist doctor can increase this percentage the accuracy to 99 percent.

MYTH 9:

Men cannot get breast cancer.

FACT:

Men can develop breast cancer. Men who are at risk include those who are older, overweight, or have more than the average breast tissue expected in men.

MYTH 10:

Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.

FACT:

Seventy (70) percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors.

MYTH 11:

When left untreated, cysts can lead to cancer.

FACT:

Cysts are the result of estrogen, not an abnormality in the cells; they rarely develop into cancer. However, some cancerous lumps tend to look like cysts, which can lead to misdiagnosis.

MYTH 12:

If I find a lump in my breast, I have cancer.

FACT:

Eighty percent of lumps in women’s breasts are caused by benign changes, cysts or other conditions.

MYTH 13:

It’s better to not ask the question and live in blissful ignorance, than to get checked and discover that you have cancer

FACT:

1. Breast cancer can be treated. The chance for survival is significantly higher when the cancer is detected early.

2. Breast cancer does not lead to instant death. However, it does require immediate action. If left untreated, breast cancer causes needless suffering and yes, eventual death usually in 1-2 years. Though getting screened for breast cancer can be scary, it’s scarier to ignore it and let the disease spread.

References.

  1. Breast Cancer – Risk of developing Breast Cancer.  Available from: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/risk/understanding . Accessed on September 21, 2015.
  2. Consumer Health –- Benign Breast Lumps. Available from: http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/breast-cancer-7/breast-cancer-news-94/benign-breast-lumps-644244.html . Accessed on September 21, 2015.
  3. National Cancer Institute – Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer. Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet . Accessed on September 21, 2015.
  4. Prevention – 12 Myths to Ignore about Breast Cancer. Available from: http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/breast-cancer-myths . Accessed on September 21, 2015.
  5. Journal of Clinical Oncology – Expanding the Criteria for BRCA Mutation Testing in Breast Cancer Survivors. Available from http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/28/27/4214.full . Accessed on September 21, 2015.
  6. New Hope 360 – Omega-3 fatty acids & breast cancer. Available from: http://newhope360.com/supplements/omega-3-fatty-acids-breast-cancer. Accessed on September 22, 2015.

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