There are so many breast cancer myths circulating online: who gets it, why do they get it, or what treatment looks like…? Although breast cancer is one of the more well-known and frequently discussed cancers, there are still many misconceptions.
Only 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, meaning they result directly from abnormal changes in certain genes passed from parent to child. Most people who develop breast cancer do not have a family history, indicating that other factors must be at work. However, it’s important to take the risk very seriously if you have a strong family history of breast cancer on either your mother’s or father’s side.
It has been claimed that wearing an underwire-style bra could restrict the flow of lymphatic fluid out of the breast, causing toxic chemicals and other substances to build up in the breast tissue. These, in turn allegedly encourage breast cancer to develop. However, there is absolutely no evidence to back up this theory.
While they make up only about 1% of all cases, men can certainly develop breast cancer too. Typically, this is because of a hereditary genetic mutation in the BRCA gene, which is the most common cause of hereditary breast cancer.
There are many internet claims that underarm deodorants, particularly those made with aluminum and other chemicals, are absorbed into the lymph nodes, and make their way into breast cells, increasing cancer risk. It was believed that shaving the underarms increase the risk by creating tiny nicks allowing more of the chemicals in deodorants to enter the body. According to another theory, antiperspirants prevent underarm sweating, causing the release of toxic substances from the lymph nodes into the body, therefore increasing breast cancer risk. Again, there is absolutely no reputable scientific evidence for this.
Even though most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, it’s important to have any lumps, changes, or abnormalities checked out by a doctor. Self-exams and routine mammograms are part of being proactive and aware when it comes to breast health awareness and prevention. Mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, but they do save lives by detecting breast cancers early when it’s most easily treatable.
Although it can be very frightening to learn that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed withbreast cancer, there are steps you can take to lower your risk:● Limit alcohol intake.● Maintain a healthy weight.● Get enough exercise.● Quit smoking.● Limit postmenopausal therapy
If you are a woman or man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or you areconsidering surgery to decrease your risk of breast cancer – Breast Advocate® is for you. BreastAdvocate® is a free app that provides ALL your surgical options along with evidence-basedrecommendations, personalized for you.
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