Health Minute: Debunking Breast Cancer Myths
Whether it’s a mother, grandmother, sister or a friend, many of us know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer, but many of us may not have all the facts. Sonya Kella, MD, with Adventist HealthCare helps debunk some myths about breast cancer.
1. MYTH: If I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I won’t get it.
FACT: Most people diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history. Only about 5 – 10 percent of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary.
2. MYTH: If you maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat healthy and limit alcohol, you don’t have to worry about breast cancer.
FACT: Although these behaviors can help lower breast cancer risk, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll never get the disease. It’s important to combine these behaviors with regular screenings, self-breast exams and paying attention to any unusual changes in your breasts.
3. MYTH: Carrying your cell phone in your bra can cause breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence of a connection between cell phones and breast cancer, but the safety of cell phones is still being studied. Cell phone manufacturers often do recommend keeping your device away from your body as much as possible, so you may want to avoid keeping your cellphone near your chest until more research is available.
4. MYTH: Using an antiperspirant can cause breast cancer.
FACT: There is no evidence that underarm antiperspirant is connected to breast cancer, but the safety of antiperspirants is still being studied. Some studies have found that women who use aluminum products under their arms are more likely to have higher concentrations of aluminum in breast tissue. If this is a concern for you, consider switching to an aluminum free deodorant.
5. MYTH: Breast cancer always causes a lump you can feel.
FACT: Breast cancer might not cause a lump, especially when it first develops. Some people may skip mammograms thinking they’ll be able to feel any change that might indicate a problem. However, by the time it does the disease might have already moved beyond the breast. Self-exams are certainly a good idea, but are not a substitute for regular mammogram screenings.