With increasing awareness about breast cancer women might be falling prey to myths regarding breast cancer. The following information debunks the myths and highlights the facts regarding breast cancer – which is an absolute necessity for you to fight breast cancer diligently.
Myth No. 1: Family history is the most important risk factor to get breast cancer
Family history is a well-established risk factor to an extent that some women even believe that it the only risk factor, but only 15 percent of the women who get breast cancer have a positive family history.
Myth No. 2: breast cancer occurs only in older women
Though increasing age is a risk factor for breast cancer; however, this doesn’t mean that younger women aren’t vulnerable. Breast cancer can be diagnosed at any age.
Myth No. 3: People say that regular screening causes cancer
Mammography and Ultrasound Breast are the two most common screening modalities for diagnosing Breast Cancer. The radiation dose in a mammogram is less than a standard chest X-ray and thus it wouldn’t increase breast cancer risk.
Myth No. 4: Many people say that mammograms are not very helpful?
Mammogram is the only thing we have, which has thus far shown to reduce the mortality from breast cancer.” This is more relevant in India where younger women are being diagnosed for the disease. Hence leading experts in India suggest 35 years as the age to start (mammography) screening in women and for people with strong family history it could even be at a younger age as well.
Myth No. 5: Inherited risk means you will definitely get breast cancer
A strong family history is a cancer risk factor, but just because women in your family have had breast cancer does not mean you are destined to get it. Genetic testing of the BRCA gene will help you understand your inherited risk and allow you to make choices about your future care. There are various other methods and medicines available for people with BRCA Gene which positivity help in prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.
Myth No. 6: Cosmetic surgery causes breast cancer
There is no link between breast plastic surgery and increased breast cancer risk. Women who have had breast reduction surgery may actually have a decrease breast cancer risk.
Myth No. 7: Abortion and miscarriage increase breast cancer risk
There is no research to support the idea that the early end of a pregnancy through miscarriage or abortion could increase breast cancer risk.
Myth No. 8: Deodorants and antiperspirants cause breast cancer
There have been no studies to suggest a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer.
Parabens are chemical preservatives used in some antiperspirants. They may increase estrogen levels, which is linked to breast cancer risk. But there is no decisive link.
You can fight against breast cancer if you know the causes, risk factors, symptoms and lifestyle- related issues. Better understanding, self-awareness and timely medical intervention are the best possible ways in which you can arrest breast cancer in the early stages.