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Breast Cancer: Myths and Facts

We have all heard the survivor stories; we have even seen the struggles of close ones. But how much do we really know about Breast Cancer? Some people might know that Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women. But what about the misconceptions associated with it?

Awareness surrounding Breast Cancer is incredibly important with the prevalence of the condition, especially among women. The more you know, the more empowered you will feel to tackle the disease and its consequences. Read on to differentiate between the myths and facts about breast cancer.

Myth 1: Only Women can get Breast Cancer   

Fact: Incidence of Breast Cancer is definitely higher in women but even men can suffer from the disease. Only women getting Breast Cancer is the biggest myth around the disease. In fact, both men and women have breast tissues, with the only difference being that men have it in much smaller quantity, but even that makes it possible for them to develop breast cancer. In recent times, the mortality rate is higher in men than women because of less awareness, causing a delay in seeking treatment.

Myth 2: Breast cancer is a hereditary disease  

Fact: A large number of patients diagnosed with Breast Cancer have no history of the disease in the family. While women having a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, around 5-10% people diagnosed with breast cancer have had it in the family. Several risk factors, including smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and obesity increase the chances, but solely not responsible for the development of cancer. It is advisable to discuss the history of breast cancer with your doctor if any and practice self-examination.

Myth 3: A lump on your breast indicate breast cancer

Fact: Not all lumps in the breast are cancerous, and not everyone with cancer can feel a lump. There is a much greater chance that the lump found in the breast could be benign, in the form of a cyst or abscess. Many women undergoing menopause (above 45 years) complain of hardness and soreness with other symptoms associated with a lump but are simply not a sign of cancer. If you feel any abnormality such as a lump with nipple pain, swelling, or irritation, then talk to your doctor and get a proper screening.

Myth 4: A mammogram can cause breast cancer

Fact: A mammogram continues to remain the gold standard for early detection of Breast Cancer. With advanced technology, radiation exposure level is extremely low and not harmful for those undergoing such screening tests. We advise women aged 40 and above to go for mammogram test annnually, say gynaecologists at AMRI Hospitals. There is no scientific evidence suggesting that mammograms can cause breast cancer, it is absolutely safe and helps in early detection.

Myth 5: Deodorants, anti-perspirants, or bras can cause Breast Cancer

Fact: Using anti-perspirants, or wearing any type of bra doesn’t lead to risk of developing Breast Cancer And it is a misconception that has developed over the years, which people should have stopped spreading. There is no medical evidence that deodorants or anti-perspirants can cause breast cancer. And wearing an ill-fitted bra can dig into your breasts and cause discomfort, pain or swelling, but definitely not Breast Cancer!

Conclusion

Awareness is the key. It is so important to stay away from misleading facts, especially when talking about major health issues. Breast Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women globally. Regular screenings, early detection, and timely treatment can definitely save a lot of lives.  To learn more about breast cancer, talk to your doctor and discuss your concerns on time. Remember, Breast Cancer is both curable and treatable!