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Common Myths About Breast Cancer

Some common myths and misconceptions about breast cancer :

Myth: Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.

Truth:  Eight out of ten lumps are benign, or not cancerous. If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes in breast tissue, it is very important that you see a doctor immediately.  Sometimes women stay away from medical care because they fear what they might find. Take charge of your own health by monthly self-exams, regular visits to the doctor, and regularly scheduled mammograms.

Myth: Men do not get breast cancer.

Truth: While the percentage of men who are diagnosed with breast cancer is small, men should also give themselves monthly exams and note changes to their doctors. Breast cancer in men is more aggressive and tends to be detected late, due to which the prognosis becomes poorer for men.

Myth: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread.
Truth: An x-ray of the breast is called a mammogram. The x-ray and the compression on the breast from the x-ray machine cannot cause cancer to spread.

Myth: Having a family history of breast cancer means you will get breast cancer. 
Truth:  While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. If you have a mother, daughter, sister, or grandmother who had breast cancer, you should have a mammogram five years before the age of their diagnosis.

Myth: Breast cancer is a communicable disease. 
Truth: You cannot catch breast cancer or transfer it to someone else’s body. Breast cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell growth in your own body.

Myth: Using antiperspirants can increase the risk of breast cancer
Truth: There is no evidence supporting the myth that using any common deodorants or antiperspirants increases the risk of breast cancer..

Myth: Taking birth control pills can give you breast cancer
Truth:  This misconception is due to the fact that birth control pills contain doses of hormones used to regulate the menstrual cycle. Though these hormones, estrogen and progesterone do not cause women to develop breast cancer, several studies have concluded that taking birth control pills may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer later in life. This theory is still being tested, and as of now, there is no definite answer to this theory.

Myth: Surgery for breast cancer means removal of whole breast (Mastectomy)
Truth: For early breast cancer, there is no need for removal of the whole breast .It has been proved in several trials that breast conservation surgery is equally safe and effective as mastectomy and the cosmetic results are excellent.