5 Breast Cancer Myths
Good health is a luxury many of us take for granted. Approximately 1 in 8 women in United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. That’s about 1 in 8 of us reading this right now. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because with the Mas Amor Movement I not only want to help spread more love but also be a voice for topics I feel need all the amplification they can get, I put together a list of 5 of the most common breast cancer myths. Hopefully this will help clarify things you have very likely heard and, most importantly, motivate you to regularly check yourself.
finding a lump means you have a breast cancer
Finding a breast lump is probably one of our biggest fears but truth is only a small percentage of these lumps turn out to be cancer. This does not mean that if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice a change in your breast tissue, it can just be ignored. It is crucial that you have a clinical breast exam where your physician may possibly order further studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not.
Love yourself enough to perform routine breast self-exams, schedule annual clinical breast exams -which I must admit I have never done but will do this year- and if you are between the ages of 45 and 54 you should have annual mammograms according to cancer.org stats.
breast cancer doesn’t happen to men
Approximately 2,190 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and roughly 410 will die. This is a small percentage in comparison but the idea that only women can get breast cancer leads to many men completely disregarding a lump in their chest and delay in seeking treatment. For this reason, men should also periodically self-exam and report any changes to their physician.
Awareness among men being so low is the main reason that men carry a higher mortality rate versus women.
Deodorants can cause breast cancer
This one is still slightly up in the air. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have not discovered any conclusive evidence linking the use of deodorants or antiperspirants to the development of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also does not have any research data that ingredients in deodorants can cause cancer.
Due to the fact that deodorants contain potentially harmful ingredients and are applied near the breast, several scientists have suggested a possible connection between their use and breast cancer. Since there is no scientific evidence linking the two, additional studies would be necessary to determine whether a relationship exists. You can obtain more info at cancer.gov.
Mammograms cause cancer to spread
Some women opt out of mammograms due to the radiation exposure but according to the National Cancer Institute, “The benefits of mammography nearly always outweigh the potential damage from the radiation exposure. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low.”
A mammogram continues to be the best option to early breast cancer detection and no, breast compression while getting a mammogram will not cause cancer to spread.
drinking milk causes breast cancer
To this day, several myths continue to circulate blaming milk as a factor in increasing risk of breast cancer. Studies over the decades have proven that milk has no relation in putting you at higher risk. To learn a little more on how what you’re putting into your body might increase your risk, check out American Cancer’s Society article: How Your Diet May Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer.
Being a part of the Mas Amor Movement can be as simple as sharing this post with other women in the hope of clarifying some questions they may have regarding breast cancer but most importantly, will hopefully motivate them to regularly check themselves.