Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Busting Bizarre Myths

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It’s that time of the year when we are bombarded with information about Breast Cancer left right and center. It’s the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are celebrating Pinktober in all it’s glory. While the internet maybe the hub for all relevant information related to the disease, there are a number of myths that need to be debunked. Here, we tackle a few common yet outrageous myths about breast cancer.

Myth: Deodorant causes breast cancer.

Fact: Thankfully, this is not true. There may have been some reports that chemicals found in deodorants and perfumes can cause changes in breast cells and lead to cancer, the research to date does not support a link between deodorant use and breast cancer risk.

Myth: Bras cause cancer!

Fact: This is the silliest one we have heard yet! Scientific evidence does not show a link between wearing any type of bra (with wire or not) and breast cancer risk. There is no biological link between the two whatsoever, so do yourself a favour and not believe such myths.

Myth: Injury or trauma to the breast can cause breast cancer.

Fact: While it’s true nobody likes to get hurt, the good news is there is no evidence to support a link between trauma or injury to the breast and the risk of cancer.

Myth: If it runs in your family, you “WILL” get it.

Fact: Studies suggest that most women with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the disease. In fact, only about 13 percent of women with breast cancer have a family member with breast cancer. Moreover, even if you don’t have a family history, be aware because you can still get breast cancer. In fact, most people diagnosed with cancer are at average risk and we can never be sure about which factors came together to cause the cancer.

Myth: Breast cancer always forms a lump.

Fact: Most people know that a lump in the breast may be a sign of breast cancer, but there are actually other signs you need to know to look out for, for example, any visible changes such as swelling, discoloration or itchiness.

Myth: Men cannot have get breast cancer.

Fact: For men, it’s their chest or their “pecs” rather than breasts but the fact is men have breast tissue as well. So, men are equally prone to the diseases.

Myth: Young women are not predisposed to the disease.

Fact: The truth of the matter is that all women are at risk of the disease. Although rare, young women do get breast cancer even in their 20s.

Myth: If a woman is pregnant she can’t get breast cancer.

Fact: Sadly, this is not the truth. Breast cancer is actually the most common type of cancer among pregnant and postpartum women. When women are pregnant or breastfeeding, their breasts are naturally more tender and enlarged which may make it harder to detect a lump or notice other changes.

Myth: If I eat right, don’t smoke, exercise and don’t drink alcohol, I will not get breast cancer.

Fact: A person can do everything “right” and still get cancer. Activities like eating right and exercising have may lower the chances but cannot completely eliminate them. This means there is no one behavior that will prevent breast cancer.

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