Breast cancer begins when the cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. It occurs mostly in women, but men can also get it. It is one of the most common types of cancers worldwide. About 12% of all new cancers and 25% of all cancers in women are breast cancers.
Breast cancer is one of the most misunderstood diseases with several myths and truths. Following are certain myths about the condition, and the truth of it:
Myth 1: Family history is one of the major risk factors for breast cancer.
Truth: Everyone believes that family history is one of the risk factors for breast, but the fact is that only about 5 to 10% of the breast cancers are associated with hereditary or family history. The other 90% are largely caused due to lifestyle and environmental factors.
Myth 2: A lump in the breast indicates breast cancer.
Truth: Breast tissue may undergo changes based on the physiological state and the hormone levels. Some women develop lumps during the first part of their menstrual cycle; this lump may disappear later. Therefore, a lump in the breast does not always indicate breast cancer. Only a small percentage of lumps turn out to be cancerous. However, if you discover a persistent lump in your breast, it should not be ignored. Consult your physician for a clinical breast exam.
Myth 3: Breast cancer affects only women.
Truth: Almost everyone believes that breast cancer affects only women and not men, but the fact is that every year approximately 2,190 men are diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 die worldwide. Men should also go for a regular health check up if they find any changes in their breast. Usually, breast cancer in men is manifested as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.
Myth 4: Antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Truth: There is no scientific evidence that antiperspirants cause breast cancer. Some antiperspirants may cause skin irritation in some with delicate skin, but overall, these products are safe for use.
Myth 5: Regular mammograms and X-rays cause breast cancer.
Truth: If you are of the opinion that mammograms and X-ray radiations cause breast cancer, then you are wrong. This is because no studies conducted so far have proved that mammograms cause cancer. In fact, it saves lives by diagnosing breast cancer as early as possible.
Myth 6: Breast cancer occurs in older women.
Truth: It is a myth that older women have a high risk of getting breast cancer. The fact is that 25% of the breast cancer patients are under the age of 50 years. Though increasing age is a risk factor for breast cancer, it does not necessarily mean that younger women do not get affected. Breast cancer can occur at any age.
Myth 7: Abortion and miscarriage can cause breast cancer.
Truth: There is no research to support or prove that abortion or miscarriage can cause breast cancer.
Myth 8: Cosmetic surgeries on the breast may cause breast cancer.
Truth: It is wrongly believed that undergoing cosmetic surgeries for breast reduction or augmentation may lead to breast cancer. The fact is that if you undergo breast reduction, there is a decrease in the risk of breast cancer. There is no link between breast cancer and plastic surgery.
Myth 9: Wearing underwire bras cause breast cancer.
Truth: Some people also believe that wearing underwire bras may cause breast cancer. But the fact is that there is no evidence linking bras to breast cancer risk.
Believe in facts rather than blindly believing in myths. A blind belief can at times put you in danger instead of reducing the risk. Knowing the facts can help you to reduce unnecessary anxiety. It will help you make informed choices at the right time regarding the breast cancer treatment if you develop breast cancer.