Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan
New Delhi : Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of the dreaded disease. Although awareness of the risks related to breast cancer is on the rise, there are various myths that people carry around.
While there are certain risk factors like genetics that cannot be changed, many lifestyle changes can aid in breast cancer prevention.
However, being misinformed can obstruct you from recognizing the signs and minimizing the risk of developing breast cancer.
It is essential to, therefore, drive out the myths and arm yourself with the facts, instead.
To aid you in recognizing the facts about breast cancer, we list down a few myths that most people believe in, but are in reality, far from true.
Myth #1: Breast cancer only affects older women
Fact: Breast cancer can occur at any age and the risk of the disease increases as we grow older.
Myth #2: Any lump in the breast means breast cancer
Fact: Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. However, if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or underarm or notice any particular changes in your breast line, it should never be ignored. Your doctor may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not.
Myth #3: Family history of breast cancer means definite diagnosis
Fact: If breast cancer runs in your family, you certainly have a significant risk of developing it but it is not assured. If statistics are to be believed, only about 10% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.
Myth #4: Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer
Fact: According to the American Cancer Society, there is no scientific evidence supporting this belief. In fact, a study carried out to investigate a co-relation between antiperspirants and breast cancer, found no signs of breast cancer in women who used antiperspirants.
Myth #5: Birth control pills cause breast cancer
Fact: Earlier, birth control pills contained high doses of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Now, however, the hormones are used in much lower doses, which are not in any way linked to breast cancer.
Myth #6: Nothing can be done to reduce the risk of breast cancer
Fact: Wrong! Keep to a healthy weight, exercise three to four hours a week, don’t smoke, limit alcohol use to five or fewer drinks per week, and eat five to nine fruits and vegetables a day.
Myth #7: Under-wire bra's can cause breast cancer
Fact: Until a few years back, few people believed underwire bras to be a potential threat for causing breast cancer. These undergarments were believed to obstruct the lymphatic flow which could possibly have a link of causal association with breast cancer. The good thing is that this is not true as under-wire bras are absolutely safe.