What is Breast Cancer? Breast cancer originates from breast tissues, usually starting from the inner lining of the lobules, which provides milk in the ducts or the milk ducts. When cells grow, change, and divide at abnormal rate, they develop into a mass of cancer cells called tumour, which is either benign or malignant. Though both males and females are prone to breast cancer it’s more prevalent among women. Common Misconceptions on Breast Cancer Here are some common misconceptions people have about breast cancer:
- Wearing brassieres with underwire can increase your risk of breast cancer. According to a book entitled Dressed to Kill, bras (especially with underwire) might be harmful to the lymphatic system because of their restrictive structure. No scientific studies or medical institutes support this claim – the medical practitioners and researchers simply dismiss it as a false assumption.
- Breast cancer is in the genes. Breast cancer does not only afflict women with a family history of the disease. In fact, according to research, an estimated 70% of breast cancer patients have actually no known breast cancer history.
- All lumps in your breasts are cancerous. Most women are alarmed when they notice lumps around the chest area – they suspect these as malignant. But an estimated 80% of lumps that are found in women’s breasts are benign (i.e. not cancerous). In spite of this, women are advised to regularly self-check and report any changes on their breasts in order to detect early signs of breast cancer to prevent its development.
- An exposed tumour during surgery can cause the cancer to spread. This is totally false and has no factual basis. It is also a common misconception that using the needle biopsies can agitate cancer cells and trigger them to multiply and spread out quickly.
- Breast implants can cause breast cancer or raise your risk of having it. There is no clear link between breast augmentation and breast cancer development. Upon studying breast implants, research found that they do not play a role in breast cancer risk.
- Applying antiperspirant will increase your risk of getting breast cancer. There is no solid evidence yet to conclude that antiperspirants can cause breast cancer. In 2002, over 800 female cancer patients participated in a study to prove the link between breast cancer and use of deodorant or antiperspirant. None of the participants showed any increased risk of breast cancer from continued use of antiperspirant.
- Women with small breasts have less chance in getting breast cancer. The size of your breasts does not determine the risk factor of getting the disease.
- After mastectomy, you will no longer get any breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors have reported recurrence of cancerous cells in other parts of the body such as the neck. Cancer cells may metastasize when their growth is not completely hindered through medication or therapy.
- Caffeine causes breast cancer. There are no research works that support any connection between drinking caffeine and development of cancer cells.
- Fertility treatments can increase the possibility of getting breast cancer. Varied types of research studies have been conducted to find out the link between fertility drugs and increased risk of breast cancer. Most short-term studies suggest that there is no apparent connection between fertility medication and breast cancer development.
- Watch your weight because obesity can raise your risk of getting cancer.
- Eat a balanced and healthy food.
- Keep yourself fit and exercise daily even for 20-30 minutes a day.
- Minimize drinking alcohol and smoking
- Stay away from hormone replacement therapy.
- For young mothers, breastfeeding your babies longer is advisable.
- Avoid exposure to radiation.