For those affected by breast cancer, searching for answers can lead to many myths and misunderstandings. The people I know in the breast cancer community report that everyone seems to have an opinion about the possible causes.
Let's leave it up to the experts to explain and demystify what is true and not true. Here are some of the most common myths:
1) Dump Your Deodorant It Causes Breast Cancer
According to BreastCancerAbout.com, some tissue samples from breast cancer patients contained parabens, in a study. Parabens were also found in deodorants. However, the site goes on to say, “there is no clear link between antiperspirants and the start of breast cancer.”
2) Skip the Mammogram Because It Will Make Cancer Spread
Using a mammogram to detect breast cancer has been the preferred method. According to NationalBreastCancer.org, the myth that breast compression while getting a mammogram causes the cancer to spread is not true. “Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low.”
3) Burn Your Bra Because It Causes Breast Cancer
According to BreastCancerAbout.com, that rumor started in the 1990s as a result of a book written by an author who had an undiagnosed lump in her breast. On ScientificAmerican.com, Louise Brinton, chief of the hormonal and reproductive epidemiology branch of the National Cancer Institute said, "It just really is not logical in terms of what would increase your risk of breast cancer."
4) Guys Can't Get Breast Cancer
According to an article on BreastCancer.org, while breast cancer in men is rare, they can still get it. “Less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2015, about 2,350 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.”
5) If you Carry the Breast Cancer Gene, You will Get Cancer
NationalBreastCancer.org cites the National Cancer Institute as saying, “not every woman in such families carries a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, and not every cancer in such families is linked to a harmful mutation in one of these genes.” They do, however, say that those who carry the harmful mutation are about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.
6) Getting Breast Implants Put You at Greater Risk for Breast Cancer
Health.com reports that while it may be a little more involved to diagnose a woman with breast implants on a standard mammogram, merely having implants will not increase your risk of breast cancer.
“Causes and Risks of Cancers – Cancer.about.com.” About Health. Web 22 October 2015.
“Top 10 Breast Cancer Risk Myths - Some Common Misconceptions – BreastCancer.About.com.” About Health. Web 22 October 2015.
The Breast Cancer Myth – NationalBreastCancer.org.” National Breast Cancer Organization, Inc. Web 22 October 2015
“Fact or Fiction?: Underwire Bras Cause Cancer – ScientiicAmerican.com.” Scientific American. Web 22 October 2015
“Male Breast Cancer – BreastCancer.org.” Breast Cancer Organization. Web 22 October 2015
“25 Breast Cancer Myths Busted – Health.com.” Health. Web 22 October 2015
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and children, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/
Reviewed October 23, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith