Sometimes it’s difficult to sift through the rumors to get the facts about breast cancer. Don’t let the hearsay stress you out. We’re debunking five common breast cancer myths so you can make informed decisions about your health.
1. Myth: Wearing bras causes breast cancer.
People have argued that bras repeatedly put stress on breasts and that this extra stress causes breast cancer. There is no scientific basis to this claim, and your use of a bra will not contribute to your risk of breast cancer.
2. Myth: Breast cancer only affects women.
Both men and women can get breast cancer. In fact, 1 in 1,000 men will get breast cancer in his lifetime. The mortality rate of breast cancer is actually higher in men because they are less likely to suspect they have it and seek a timely diagnosis. Men and women alike should perform self-exams regularly. If you notice anything abnormal, speak to your doctor.
3. Myth: Mammograms emit dangerous amounts of radiation.
While mammograms do expose you to radiation, it’s a small dose with the equivalency of the radiation you’re exposed to during an average 7-week portion of your life. Over the years, scientific advances have reduced the amount of radiation emitted during screening. Mammograms can detect cancer in its earlier stages when it’s easier to treat, so the risks of receiving the small amount of radiation can do you a world of good.
4. Myth: No lumps means no breast cancer.
Breast cancer can present itself in many ways. In addition to lumps, some notable symptoms include nipple discharge, dimpling of the skin, inverted nipple, and sudden, persistent pain in one part of the breast. Perform self-exams regularly to look for any abnormalities, and visit your doctor if you notice any change in the appearance or feel of your breasts.
5. Myth: Antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Rumors have circulated that chemicals in antiperspirants can stop your body from releasing toxins and thus cause breast cancer. There isn’t scientific evidence to back up this claim, and there is no indication in the data regarding the number of people with breast cancer who used antiperspirants and those who did not.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, our team is here to help! Schedule an appointment with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group gynecologist or primary care physician to learn more about breast cancer, your personal risk, and when to start screening. If necessary, they can refer you to a medical oncologist for further testing.
As one of only three NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is home to exceptional discoveries and the development of innovative approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. And now, the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center is extending to The Woodlands Hospital, bringing quality cancer care to the North Houston community.
American Cancer Society | Disproven or Controversial Breast Cancer Risk Factors
National Breast Cancer Foundation | Myths
Susan G. Komen | What You Need to Know: The Truth About 10 Common Breast Cancer Myths
Susan G. Komen | Warning Signs of Breast Cancer