In India, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. 1 in 22 women in urban India is at risk of being affected by breast cancer. Due to poor cancer awareness, women in India are generally diagnosed at a later, more advanced stage of breast cancer leading to poor outcome.
Here are some myths and facts of breast cancer, to increase awareness of breast cancer –
Myth: I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, then I won’t get it.
Fact: Amongst the total number of breast cancer cases, only 5-10% of people have a family history of breast cancer. It is not just an inherited disease. There are other risk factors, like obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption that increases a person’s risk of developing breast cancer.
However, if you have a family history of breast cancer, do regular self-examination of your breasts and go for regular cancer screenings.
Myth: Wearing a bra can cause breast cancer.
Fact: There is no evidence to support the myth that wearing bras causes breast cancer.
Myth: Only women can get breast cancer
Fact: This is the biggest misconception about breast cancer. Although it is rare, men can also get breast cancer, as they also have breast tissue. Older men are at greater risk of developing breast cancer, but it can be found in young men too. Symptoms of breast cancer are the same in men and women.
Myth: I have a lump in my breast which means I have breast cancer
Fact: Although a breast lump is a sign of breast cancer, a lump in the breast does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. It can be non-cancerous lump. Of all the breast lumps approximately 90% turn out to be noncancerous. To diagnose the lump you have, visit a breast cancer doctor and do proper screening and check-up.
Myth: Deodorants and antiperspirants can cause breast cancer
Fact: This is not true. People think that harmful chemicals present in deodorants and antiperspirants get absorbed into the lymph nodes and spread to the breast cells, causing cancer. But it is just a misconception. No such evidence has been found.
Myth: Breast cancer always causes a lump you can feel
Fact: It is not always true. Lumps can take time to develop. Several other symptoms can indicate breast cancer such as changes to the nipple and its surrounding area, nipple discharge, swelling of the skin, and change in the colour or the thickening of the breast. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a breast cancer specialist.
Myth: Annual mammograms reduces your risk of breast cancer
Fact: No. Mammography does not reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. It only detects the breast cancer early. Early detection helps in saving lives.
If you still have any doubts about breast cancer, contact Dr. Anupama Mane, best breast cancer specialist in Pune. She has vast experience in Benign (non-cancerous) surgery, Breast Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment.