With one in every eight women in the United States predicted to develop invasive breast cancer throughout their lifetime, the many myths surrounding breast cancer, mammography, and prevention can be a roadblock for those wishing to learn more about the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 281,000 instances of invasive breast cancer in women are likely to be detected in the United States this year. Men can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well, with 2,650 cases expected this year.
Health care practitioners and NGOs around the country, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Breastcancer.org, are working to remove misunderstandings that might obstruct prevention, early detection, and treatment. The following are some of the most common breast cancer misconceptions:
Delusion: Mammograms spread breast cancer by putting pressure on the breasts.
Actuality: Breast cancer is detected via mammograms. The procedure has no effect on the spread of cancer.
Delusion: Breast cancer only affects persons who have a family history of the disease.
Actuality: Only about 5% to 10% of breast cancer instances are thought to be inherited genetically. The majority of persons who are diagnosed with it have no family history of the disease.
Delusion: A lump can always be felt during a self-exam if you have breast cancer.
Actuality: Breast cancer does not usually cause a detectable lump. Self-examinations are beneficial, but mammograms should be scheduled according to a health care provider’s recommendations.
Delusion: Tucking your phone into your bra causes cancer.
Actuality: There is no evidence that holding a cell phone too close to one’s breast causes cancer.
Delusion: Breast cancer does not affect young women.
Actuality: One in every 25 women under the age of 40 develops aggressive breast cancer.
Delusion: Using deodorant under the arms causes breast cancer.
Actuality: There is no link between the use of antiperspirants or deodorants and the development of cancer.
Delusion: Too much sugar in your diet can trigger or “feed” breast cancer, allowing it to spread.
Actuality: There is no scientific proof that excessive sugar consumption promotes cancer.
Delusion: Wearing an underwire bra might cause cancer, according to a popular myth.
Actuality: There is no proof that bras, especially underwire bras, cause cancer.
Screenings for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer tests are optional for women between the ages of 40 and 44. However, at the age of 45, screenings should be done on a regular basis as part of their yearly physical. Women between the ages of 50 and 64 can go from an annual screening every two years. This decision is made based on a person’s medical history and the advice of a doctor. Screenings are done on a case-by-case basis after the age of 65.
Mammography is the most common breast cancer screening test. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast taken with specific equipment that compresses the breast between two plates. Mammograms can be unsettling for some women.
Consult your doctor about the best time to get a mammogram, as it may differ from the suggested timetable due to family history.