The Truth Behind Common Breast Cancer Misconceptions
Every year, approximately 264,000 women and 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. Are you staying up to date on the most accurate information about breast cancer and prevention? Follow along to check your knowledge as we reveal the truth behind top breast cancer myths.
Myth - Breast cancer just affects older women.
Fact – Breast cancer does affect younger women, too. No matter the age, all women should closely monitor their breast health and communicate newly found concerning changes with their physician. A 2017 study revealed almost 4% of invasive breast cancers were found in women younger than 40 years old, compared to nearly 23% found in women in their 50’s and 27% in women in their 60’s – meaning 1 in each 25 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in women below 40.
Myth - Women diagnosed with breast cancer always notice a lump.
Fact – Breast cancer does not always cause a lump that can be felt. For this reason, it’s important not to rely of the presence of lumps and bumps alone, as mammograms are a much more effective method of detection – even in the early stages for minute cancers that don’t present any symptoms.
Myth - Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family so I can’t get it.
Fact – Breast cancer is often considered to be a hereditary disease. However, just nearly 5-10% of breast cancers occur in women with a family history of it. The largest risk factors of being an adult female and growing older, still remain.
Myth – Wearing underwire bras contributes to breast cancer risk.
Fact – There has been no evidence to support this myth. Research from 2014 revealed that after studying approximately 1,500 women diagnosed with breast cancer, no link was discovered associating those who wear bras with breast cancer.
Myth – Men can’t get breast cancer.
Fact - Breast cancer, although most commonly found in women, can also be diagnosed in men as they too have breast tissue and similar breast anatomy to women. Approximately 1 in 100 breast cancers in the U.S. are diagnosed in a man.
Learn more about breast cancer symptoms for men by clicking here.
Myth – Breast cancer can be caused by deodorants.
Fact – There is no scientific evidence to support the claim of underarm antiperspirants and deodorants being directly linked to breast cancer. This also includes products consisting of aluminum and a variety of other chemicals, as no connection has been made by researchers.
Myth - Early-stage breast cancer doesn’t usually recur.
Fact – Despite early-stage breast cancer having a low risk of returning, there is never a 100% guarantee it will not come back, no matter what stage breast cancer is in. A variety of risk factors for recurrence can include the original tumor size, amount of lymph nodes affected, abnormalities found in the cells, and your personal treatment plan.
Certain factors can dramatically increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Fortunately, many of them are preventable by paying close attention to your breast health and practicing positive lifestyle habits. Learn more about what those are by clicking here.
Are mammograms really that necessary?
In short, yes. However, the “when” for getting mammograms heavily depends upon your personal health and family history. Generally, most women should begin getting routine mammograms at age 40, but women with a strong presence of breast cancer in the family may need to have breast cancer screenings done sooner.
Don’t know where to start? Scheduling your mammogram in North Texas is quick and easy! Click here to view our recommended list of mammogram screening locations in Plano, Frisco, Dallas, Allen, McKinney, and more.
Regardless of the date published, no content on this website should ever be used as a replacement for direct medical advice from your primary care provider or another qualified clinician.