Myths & Truths Behind Breast Cancer
Us girls need to band together to protect our boobies. Did you know 1 in 8 women (12%) in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime? There’s a lot of fluff out there around breast health so we are here to bust some of those myths and take charge of the truth. Here are 6 common misconceptions around breast health.
Finding a breast lump means I have cancer
Truth: If you find a lump, try not to automatically think the worst although it is tough. 80% of lumps found in women’s breasts are actually benign/noncancerous cysts or other conditions. Our breast tissue fluctuates based on our hormone levels and can especially go through heightened changes during menstruation and breastfeeding.
Take Action: Be aware of how your breasts normally look and feel so you can pay attention to any changes that may occur. If you feel a lump that is harder than usual or changes over time, you should always be checked by your doctor.
Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk
Truth: Roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history. Only approx 5-10% of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary that are formed by abnormal changes in genes passed through generations. The majority (approx 90%) of breast cancers are thought to be due to lifestyle and environmental factors.
I’m too young to get breast cancer.
Truth: 25% of women with breast cancer are under the age of 50 years old
Take Action: According to the National Cancer Institute, all women should begin annual mammographic screening starting at 40 years of age.
Women who maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and eat healthy are not at risk of breast cancer.
Truth: No matter how big of a “health-nut” you are, no one is 100% safe. Although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is believed to help lower the risk, there is no guarantee that you won’t develop breast cancer. Most of the time breast cancer is developed from outside factors that are out of our control.
Wearing an underwire bra or using antiperspirant can cause breast cancer.
Truth:There have been persistent rumors around underwire bras restricting the flow of lymph fluid out of the breasts and the chemicals in deodorant being absorbed into the lymph nodes both causing breast cancer. However, there is no evidence linking these to causes of breast cancer. Still, we prefer being safe than sorry so we are all about natural products including deodorant options - our fave is Native.
Men are not at risk of breast cancer
Truth: Each year approximately 1,700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, and of that number 450 will die. It is equally important for men to be educated on the information and signals of breast cancer for themselves and their loved ones.