The nonprofit organization Breastcancer.org has been debunking some myths about breast cancer based on research from scientific journals, the American Cancer Society, and other reputable sources. Here is what they’ve discovered:
Myth: If you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, you won’t get it.
Fact: Most people that have been diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history.
Only 5%-10% of breast cancers are opined to be hereditary which means that they are most likely caused by mutations (or abnormal changes) in certain genes passed on from parents. The vast majority of those diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer, meaning that the presence thereof suggested other factors of causation (e.g. environment and lifestyle).
Myth: Only middle-aged and older women can develop breast cancer.
Fact: Younger women and men can and do develop breast cancer.
While it is true that the main risk factors for developing breast cancer are being female and growing older, but research indicates that women younger than 40 have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though it is rarer in men, breast cancer can and does occur in this population- Men also have breast tissue and can develop this condition as a result thereof.
Myth: The use of underarm antiperspirants can cause breast cancer.
Fact: There has been no known evidence to suggest this connection (but it is still being studied).
There have been rumors that underarm antiperspirants that contain aluminium and other chemicals can be absorbed into the lymph nodes and thereby make their way into breast cells or alternatively prevent the release of toxic substances from these lymph nodes by preventing sweating. However, there has yet to be confirmed evidence of a connection between the use of antiperspirant and breast cancer.
Myth: Breast cancer can be caused by carrying your cellphone in your bra or breast pocket.
Fact: Research has not yet supported this claim.
While there have been reports of younger women developing breast cancer due to keeping their cellphone in their bras, the research to date has not supported this claim. The research hasn’t yet found a link between the two, but it is still being studied. Nevertheless, cellphone manufacturers recommend keeping your device as far away from your body as possible until further research becomes available.
Myth: Breast cancer will always cause a lump that you can feel.
Fact: It might not cause a lump (especially when it first develops).
There is a false preconception that a lump may mean that cancer has been caught early. By the time breast cancer forms a lump, cancer might have already moved past the breast into the lymph nodes. This condition does not even always cause a lump. While performing self-examination is a good idea, checking with your doctor and getting an annual mammogram scan is the preferred route.
The above is based on scientific research and reviewed by a medical doctor, but new research is continually becoming available, and it is important to check with your personal doctor or specialist when you have concerns or going for a check-up.
We hope that this has been able to shed some light on breast cancer awareness. If you’d like to get in touch, please do so here.