Breast Cancer Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction
Breast cancer is number one cancer affecting
millions of women worldwide. Despite advancements in medicine and technology,
there are still numerous misconceptions in our society surrounding us about this
disease, from its causative factors to its treatment options. Here we are going
to explore some of the most common myths and unique facts regarding breast
Myth 1: Underwire bras cause breast cancer.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to
support the claim that underwire bras cause breast cancer. The idea that
underwire bras restrict lymphatic flow and cause toxins to build up in the
breasts is not supported by scientific research. Wearing the right size bra,
underwire or not, does not increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Myth 2: Deodorants and antiperspirants cause
Fact: The theory that deodorants and
antiperspirants increase the risk of breast cancer is based on the idea that
they contain harmful chemicals which are absorbed by skin and cause damage to cells. However, there
is no scientific evidence to support this claim. According to the American
Cancer Society, there is no evidence of this claim.
Myth 3: Breast cancer affects only older
Fact: Although the risk of breast cancer does
increase with age, it can affect women of all ages. Breast cancer can occur in
women in their 20s and 30s, and it is important for all women to be aware of
the signs and symptoms and to perform regular self-breast examinations. Women
over 50 years are advised to get a mammogram at least once every two years.
Myth 4: A lump in the breast always means
Fact: A lump in the breast is not always a
sign of cancer. Lumps can be caused by a variety of factors, including cysts, fibroadenomas, and hormonal changes.
A painless lump in the breast is more likely a cancerous lump. One should always consult a specialist if she finds a lump in
Myth 5: Mammograms can cause breast cancer.
Fact: Mammograms are a safe and effective tool
for detecting breast cancer in its early stages. By mammograms, our body gets a very low dose of
radiation. It is not believed to be harmful. Regular mammograms are recommended
for women over the age of 50 to help to detect breast cancer in early stage
when it is most treatable.
Myth 6: Breast cancer always requires
mastectomy or entity breast removal.
Fact: A mastectomy, or the removal of the
entire breast, is not always necessary for treating breast cancer. In
breast-conserving surgery and oncoplasty, only tumor area is removed in such a
way that shape and cosmesis of remaining tissue of the affected breast remain in the best possible way. It depends on the
size and location of the tumor, as well as other factors, such as the patient's
overall health and medical history
Breast cancer is a multidisciplinary disease.
In most cases, it requires Chemotherapy with or without hormonal/
targeted drugs, surgery and Radiation treatment. 8 to 10% of cases are inherent or
genetic. Breast cancer patients' first-degree relatives are at high risk. They
should strictly follow the screening guidelines. There are still many misconceptions
surrounding the disease. Awareness and education are the main weapons to fight cancer disease. Youth should come forward and take responsibility to
educate women in their hometowns and village, especially their aunts, and grandmothers should inquire whether they have any painless lump in
This is a way to CLOSE THE CARE GAP.
DONT HIDE... LET'S FIGHTBy,
Dr. Piyusha Kulshrestha
Sr Consultant - Radiation Oncology
Metro Group of Hospitals