Breast cancer myths you must stop believing!
The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that 1 in 8 American women will get breast cancer. In 2018, it expects about 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer, 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. Other than this, 40,920 women will probably die of this. Preventing and managing breast cancer therefore is vital. Here we look at the common breast cancer myths.
Myth: Breast cancer affects only those with a family history of cancer
This is absolutely wrong. Research shows that 70% of breast cancer cases are sporadic, meaning there is no inherited component. Those with a family history of breast cancer should start screening for it earlier, maybe even as early as 25. The risk gets greater if there is a first-degree relative (a mother, sister, or daughter) and if their breast cancer appeared before 50. If there is no family history, screening by age 45 should work well. Consult your physician.
Myth: Bras can cause breast cancer
This is absolutely unfounded. A 2014 scientific study studied the connection between wearing a bra and breast cancer. There was no real difference in risk between women who wore a bra and women who didn't wear a bra.
Myth: If you have a lump, it’s cancer
Not all lumps in the breast signify breast cancer, so don’t panic of you find one during a breast self-exam. 75% of the time a lump is may not be serious, it could be a cyst, a benign non-cancerous growth or even something connected to the menstrual cycle. However, if you find a lump, never ignore it but schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Myth: Young women won’t get breast cancer
Breast cancer can strike at any age. Older women aged 55 and upwards have a greater risk of developing breast cancer but others do too. Many of those below 40 who have contracted the disease have suffered a more aggressive form of it.
Myth: Alcohol has nothing to do with breast cancer
Drinking alcohol may increase levels of estrogen and other hormones that are linked to hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. It may also up the cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells. Research has shown that women who take up three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of contracting breast cancer. The breast cancer risk increases by 10% for each additional drink consumed per day.
Myth: Only women get breast cancer!
This is one of the biggest myths there has ever been. Men too can get breast cancer though it’s not very common. Unfortunately, it’s also discovered at a far more advanced stage.