13 Jul 5 Breast Cancer Myths You Probably Still Believe In
Breast cancer concerns many women for good reason: a woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.
In recent years, information and awareness campaigns have multiplied. And that’s great! But despite the wealth of information we have about breast cancer, a lot of women still believe myths about what causes it. Many are still confused about what’s real or not. Here are some of the most popular myths that we should all stop believing about breast cancer.
Myth 1: Genetics largely determines your chances of getting breast cancer.
A lot of people still believe that breast cancer runs in the family. But the real deal is that many cases of this cancer actually happen by chance and not due to family history. Having a relative does not mean you get to acquire breast cancer easily because in reality, only 5% of breast cancers are caused by inheriting an altered gene.
Lifestyle and external factors, and not exactly genetics, pose a bigger impact on the risks of getting breast cancer.
Myth 2: Antiperspirants/Deodorants cause breast cancer.
If you have listened to your aunt telling you that deodorants tend to block the toxins from leaving your system and then develop into breast cancer, don’t believe it. No scientific evidence supports the claim that chemical ingredients in antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer. If you are still worried by the fact that sweat gets blocked out by these chemicals and retain the toxins, remember that there are other ways of getting rid of them. Sweating is just one of those ways and lymph nodes are not the usual paths.
One of the common ingredients in deodorants, antiperspirants and other cosmetics is paraben. Parabens are also used as food preservatives that are easily absorbed by the skin. And it struck a concern among experts when it was said to be linked to the risk of having this cancer.
Parabens have no direct correlation with breast cancer although in some studies, these substances were found in breast cancer samples. But there was no support in how these parabens caused or added to the development of breast cancer in these particular cases.
Myth 3: Underwire bras cause breast cancer.
Wearing push up bras with metal wires was thought of a main risk of having breast cancer. But experts say that these wires only cause pain and swelling which does not increase the risk of getting this cancer. The wires of the cup restrict blood flow and in no way connected to the risk build up of breast cancer. There is no clear evidence as to how it links to breast cancer so there is no reason to panic.
Bras are made to support the breasts. So wearing well-fitting bras do not only give comfort but also good health.
Myth 4: Breast injuries can develop into breast cancer.
They say that getting hit or bruised on the breasts risks development of breast cancer. When the breasts are injured, they become tender, which may seem like a risk for breast cancer. Again, same as wearing ill-fitting bras, injury to the breasts does not cause cancer right away.
An injury to the breast can create a benign lump called fat necrosis. But this naturally heals itself into scar tissue, and it’s in no way connected to breast cancer.
Myth 5: Men don’t get breast cancer.
People are fed with information from the media that breast cancer is just a concern among women. But the real deal is, it holds true for men as well. According to the American Cancer Society, around 1% of breast cancer cases happen in men. This is possible because men have breast tissue where cancer can form.
Majority of cases in men are usually diagnosed after the age of 50. And the signs to watch out for are lumps in the chest area or bleeding in the nipples (metastasis). That is why men should not think that only women are plagued with this cancer. Though it happens more in women, men are not spared from it.
Myth 6: Breast pills cause breast cancer.
There’s no evidence that the consumption of breast enlargement pills leads to breast cancer. These pills, taken as dietary supplements, are typically safe to use. They’re made with all-natural ingredients, mostly of exotic plants and herbs, some of which can even be beneficial in improving one’s overall health.
Breast cancer is more likely to happen by chance. This is why having a healthy lifestyle is very important to reduce the risk of having cancer. Regular check ups must be done for early detection of certain diseases.
Author: Melissa Lobo
Associate Content Director for Project Female,