August 24, 2023
Breast Cancer Myths & Facts

Discover the truth about breast cancer as we debunk 5 common myths, including the misconception that family history is the sole risk factor, that only older women are affected, that a lump is the only symptom, that bras and deodorants cause cancer, and that leading a healthy lifestyle guarantees immunity—learn the facts and take charge of your breast health.

Breast Cancer Specialist | Concierge Primary Care - Wexford, PA

We are debunking 5 myths about breast cancer.​

(opens in a new tab) While breast cancer is one of the most widely known cancers, there are a lot of misconceptions about it. If you or someone you love hasn’t had a direct experience with breast cancer, it can be hard to tell myth from fact. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 common myths and their factual counterparts.

Myth: If You Don’t Have a Family History of Breast Cancer, You Won’t Get It.

Fact: Many people think breast cancer is a hereditary disease, but most people who get diagnosed have no family history of it; only about 15% of those with breast cancer have a family member with the disease.

Doctors often can’t explain why a specific person develops breast cancer. Family history is certainly a risk factor, just like being a woman or growing older, but none of these should be discounted if they don’t apply to you. Even healthy breast cells can develop mutations on their own. Still, if you do have a family history of breast cancer, you should take it seriously and discuss it with your doctor.

Myth: Breast Cancer Only Happens to Older Women.

Fact: While breast cancer is more common in older women, young women can and do get breast cancer. About 11% of breast cancers occur in women under the age of 45. Women of all ages should perform self exams and report any unusual changes or symptoms to their doctors.

Although it is far less common, men can and do get breast cancer. Many people think that men could never get breast cancer because they don’t have breasts, but men have breast tissue. Male breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at later stages, as neither men or their doctors recognize breast changes or lumps as breast cancer. Even as a male, changes in your breast need to be reported and checked out.

Myth: The Only Symptom of Breast Cancer is a Lump.

Fact: Breast cancer may not even cause a lump, especially when it first develops. There are many other signs of breast cancer, such as breast swelling, redness, irritation, nipple inversion and discharge other than breast milk. It’s important that women and men alike don’t believe that just because there is no lump, they should skip their mammogram. By the time the lump appears, the cancer may have already spread to the lymph nodes.

There are even myths about the type of lump you should worry about. Some people say that if it is not painful or hard, then it is not breast cancer. Even a lump that is smooth and moveable can be a sign. Any lump or abnormality under the skin of the breast should be checked out by a medical professional.

Myth: Bras and Deodorant Can Cause Breast Cancer.

Fact: Many theories on the internet and in the media say that wearing an underwire bra can higher your risk of breast cancer. The reasoning behind it being that it would restrict the flow of fluid out of the breast, resulting in toxic substance build up. However, there is no evidence to support this theory, and multiple studies have shown that there is no link between wearing a bra and breast cancer.

There are plenty of rumours about deodorants causing breast cancer due to aluminum and other chemicals that are in antiperspirants. The belief is that these chemicals are absorbed into breast cells, causing breast cancer. Another theory was that by deodorants stopping sweat, breasts can’t release toxic substances or fluids. There is no evidence supporting a link between antiperspirant and breast cancer, and studies are often inconclusive. While there is no link between the two, you naturally don’t want harmful chemicals in your body or breast tissue, so be sure to look at the active ingredients in your antiperspirant.

Myth: If You Lead a Healthy Lifestyle, You Won’t Get Breast Cancer.

Fact: While exercise, healthy diet, and limiting alcohol can reduce your risk of breast cancer, and many other diseases, there is no guarantee of who will and will not develop breast cancer. Scientists are still not sure what specifically causes breast cancer. There are so many people who do everything right and are as healthy as can be, yet still get diagnosed. While leading a healthy lifestyle is worth it to manage any risk factors you can control, it is important for anyone to get regular screenings and perform self exams.

It is important to be aware of the truth behind breast cancer, because these misconceptions could lead to delayed testing or examinations for breast cancer. Remember to bring up any concerns with your doctor. At Connected Health, concierge primary care doctors focus on you and listen to your concerns. If you are in need of primary care, Connected Health offers preventative care, including annual health exams.

Connected Health in Wexford, Pennsylvania is a concierge primary medicine practice that believes strongly in putting the focus back on the patient. We will deliver personalized care to you in your own home, and listen to all of your concerns. If you’d like to schedule a consultation, learn more about our concierge care services, or want to explore your membership options, give us a call at (724) 933-4300. You can also book an appointment online!

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