Breast cancer is the second-leading cancer-related cause of death among women in the United States, yet there is still much mystery surrounding what causes it and whom it affects. While there is no single known cause of breast cancer, the medical community has established known risk factors and debunked some myths about who can and cannot get it. As knowledge about breast cancer increases, so does the ability to debunk these myths and empower those at risk with the truth. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most common misconceptions surrounding breast cancer and look at the facts behind them.
Myth 1: Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer
Women may be at a higher risk of breast cancer if they often wear a tight or underwire bra that rubs against their skin. This is not true. While a bra may irritate the breasts and cause discomfort, it is not linked in any way to the occurrence of breast cancer.
Myth 2: Wearing Deodorant Can Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer
There is no scientific evidence that links wearing deodorant to an increased risk of breast cancer. However, some research suggests that parabens, commonly found in commercial antiperspirants, may be linked to a higher incidence of some cancers. It is important to note that there is still inconclusive evidence on this topic, and further research is needed.
Myth 3: Having Children Can Reduce the Risk
Having children is not considered to be a factor in reducing the risk of breast cancer. It is true that having children earlier in life can decrease the risk of breast cancer, but this protection does not last forever. Similarly, breast-feeding is not associated with a significant decrease in the risk of breast cancer.
Myth 4: Only Women Can Get Breast Cancer
It may be surprising to hear, but men can also get breast cancer. Men may also have an increased risk of developing breast cancer if they have a family history of this disease or if they have mutations in certain breast cancer genes.
Myth 5: Doing Breast Self-Exams is Useless
This is not true. Regular breast self-exams help you become more familiar with the normal feel of your breasts. By becoming familiar with your breasts’ normal texture, size and shape, you’ll be better able to pick up on any changes or irregularities. Additionally, breast self-exams can help detect breast cancer at its early stages, when it is most treatable. While it’s important to perform regular self-exams, it’s also essential to consult your doctor if you experience any signs or symptoms that you think may indicate breast cancer.
It’s important to know the truth surrounding breast cancer risk factors and the signs and symptoms associated with this disease. Arm yourself with the truth in order to make better decisions about your health. While there is still much mystery surrounding the cause of breast cancer, it’s important to understand the misconceptions about this disease and to make sure you’re getting the facts.