Over the years I have had lots of conversations with women about the causes of breast cancer and who is at risk. I am still being surprised at how many myths and false beliefs there are. I still hear statements such as:
“I don’t have any boobs ( I am only an A cup ) so I won’t get breast cancer”
“No one in my family has had breast cancer so I am not at risk”
“I am too young to get breast cancer”
These are just three of the many myths about breast cancer. Many women under the age of 40 believe that breast cancer is an older women’s disease, we see breast screening promoted only for women aged 45 to 75 and statistics show the high risk age is 60 years and certainly 75% are over the age of 40. It’s easy for women under 40 to assume that they are not at risk hence the assumption “I am too young to get breast cancer.” Thanks to breast cancer research a lot of these myths have been proven to be false.
So let’s sort out some of the myths with the facts.
Myth: Most breast cancers run in families.
Fact: Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary,
Myth: Breast cancer lumps are not painful
Fact: New research has proven that breast cancer lumps can be painful
Myth: Breast Implants cause Cancer
Fact: Several studies have shown that silicone breast implants do not increase a women’s risk, although it can cause scar tissue to form
Myth: Antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that antiperspirants cause’s breast cancer, either because of toxin build up or aluminium exposure.
Myth: Underwire or tight fitting bras cause breast cancer.
Fact: Cancer Australia states that research does not support this claim, however wearing bras that are not fitting right can cause discomfort and pain.
Myth: Bump or knock on breast
Fact: Research has shown a bump or knock to the breast does not cause cancer. However it can draw attention to an existing lump
Myth: Women with very small breasts are less likely to get breast cancer
Fact: Cancer does not discriminate, size makes no difference
Myth: Women who have had a double mastectomy will not get breast cancer
Fact: While it greatly reduces the risks it is not 100% guarantee