Debunking Top 5 Myths about Breast Cancer!
Unless someone experiences breast cancer or knows someone who does, we often find it challenging to separate myth from fact when it comes to this disease. Here’s top 5 myths to debunk and to understand more about breast cancer.
I wont get breast cancer if I don’t have a family history of it.
Many people think of breast cancer as an inherited disease. While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, statistically shown that most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Only about 5–10% of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary. Most cancers are caused by genetic changes due to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation and/or other factors, such as diet and lifestyle.
Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue. Some scientists suggested that aluminium-based compounds and parabens in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. However, no studies to date confirmed any link between antiperspirant use and cancer. Still, some studies have found that women who use aluminium products under their arm are more likely to have highers concentrations of aluminium in breast tissue. So, if you are concern about the amount of aluminium in your breast tissue, do choose products that do not contain aluminium.
Men do not get breast cancer!
Most men think of breast cancer as a women’s disease. But in Malaysia, 1 out of every 100 breast cancer patients is a man. Malignant tumor can form in men’s breast tissue too. While this percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-examination in the shower. Breast cancer in men can be detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.
Women with bigger breasts will have high chance of getting breast cancer.
Size of the breasts does not affect the risk for developing breast cancer. Larger breasts are due to higher amount of fatty or fibrous tissue in the breast, which has no relation with cancer. Cancer cells are developed in the cells that line ducts or lobules, and every women has the same amount of these. However, breasts with larger density or greater amount of connective tissues and milk duct tissues might have higher risk of developing breast cancer. Also, some studies have shown that women with larger breasts are more likely to develop breast cancer. This is more likely due to larger breast women are more likely to be larger in weight or size, an indicator of higher body fat. So, regardless of breast size, when you are overweight or obese with high body fat, there’s an increased risk of developing diseases like cancer.
Finding a lump in my breast means I have cancer.
Breast cancer doesn’t always cause a lump. 80% of lumps in women’s breasts are caused by benign (non-cancerous) changes, cysts, or other conditions. Bit, if you do find a lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast, it is very important that you see a doctor for a clinical breast exam.
In conclusion, it is important to do regular check-up to prevent breast cancer as well as practicing healthy lifestyle and consume healthy diet. In our previous article, we have mentioned best foods to consume for healthy breasts. Do check it out for your breast health! =)
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]