10 Biggest Breast Cancer Myths to Forget Right Now

breast cancerOne of the most frustrating things about breast cancer is how much current information is just plain wrong. It seems like everywhere you turn, there is a myth that needs to be debunked, a rumor that has to be laid to rest. It can be very frustrating. 

For a woman with a recent diagnosis or someone who is worried about her chances, these myths can be frustrating and scary at best. If you're diagnosed with the dreaded disease, it isn't a death sentence necessarily even though it may feel like it is.

With that in mind, here are the 10 biggest breast cancer myths to forget right now:

  1. Breast cancer is a death sentence: With so many new treatments and constant research, the old way of thinking about this disease is becoming obsolete. More and more women are surviving. Currently, the 10-year survival rate is about 85 to 90 percent.
  2. Everyone who is diagnosed has a family history: In fact only about 70 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have zero risk factors. That means even if no one in your family had it, YOU CAN STILL GET IT.
  3. Only old women get breast cancer: Actually breast cancer can come at any age. If your doctor tells you not to worry about a lump because you're too young, get a second opinion and find a new doctor. The fact is, 25 percent of women with breast cancer are younger than 50.
  4. Every breast lump is cancer: Do NOT be too afraid to get a lump checked out because you're worried it's cancerous and don't want to know. The fact is, it could be a cyst or a benign condition. It could also be pre-cancerous. No matter what it is, you need to be seen.
  5. I don't eat fat so I can't get cancer: Come on now. We all know better than this. If there were a quick solution like this, wouldn't we all do it?
  6. Mammograms hurt: OK, so this isn't the best way to get women to want to take care of themselves. Yes, they are uncomfortable, and yes, they are annoying, but saying they are painful does nothing except scare women off a test that could save their life.
  7. If cancer is exposed to air during surgery, it will spread: Huh? I had never heard this one before, but apparently some people believe this. It's not true. Cancer only spreads when people delay treatment because of silly fears and myths.
  8. Men can't get breast cancer: Though women get breast cancer at a much higher rate, men can get it, too.
  9. Under-wire bras cause cancer: This was a rumor in an email a few years ago, but it isn't true and not a concern.
  10. Women with small breasts have less of a chance of getting cancer: No matter what size your breasts, anyone can get cancer.

Do you believe any of these myths?


Image via audreyjm529/Flickr



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tyrel... tyrelsmom

Mammograms do hurt. And then if you're like me you grit your teeth and bear it, only to get a call saying your breast tissue is too dense and you'll have to get an ultrasound to check instead because they couldn't see anything (and therefore all that pain for nothing). No thanks, next time it's straight to the ultrasound.

One thing is true, you lower your risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding. And the more time spent breastfeeding, the lower your risk. I've got 3 years 9 months under my belt. And counting. But of course, lower risk does not mean impossible.

Bmat Bmat

No, I don't believe them.  The one about mammograms-  they are uncomfortable, but most of the pain is when they catch a rib, which is something that can be corrected.  It is a fast test with no prep, worth getting done.

Courtney Puzzo

these are stupid yeah Mamorgrams are uncomfortable but waiting too long to get a suspicious lump checked leads to a higher death rate.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

Nope don't believe any of them at all and my mom was the first in the family to get breast cancer but sadly she passed away. I had my first mamogram last year and it wasn't really that bad at all.

Sydney Singer

I am a breast cancer researcher and medical anthropologist. Several research studies show the leading cause of breast cancer is the wearing of tight bras for long periods of time each day. Tight bras constrict and impair the breast lymphatic system and results in lymphedema and toxin accumulation within the breast tissue. Unfortunately, the Komen Foundation refuses to address the bra issue at all, insisting it does not deserve scientific research. They say they want prevention, but they refuse to do any research at all into the bra/cancer link, despite studies showing this is the leading cause of this disease. The American Cancer Society also refuses to research or consider the bra issue, and the ACS even promotes bra wearing and sells mastectomy bras. These "experts" are clearly working to get your money, not end this disease. They want drug treatment, not lifestyle change that prevents this terrible disease.

Bottom line: We live in a culture where women are brainwashed by a multi-billion dollar bra industry into believing they need artificially shaped breasts and this is causing breast disease, but the medical industry profits from treating this disease so it looks the other way.
For more see my website killerculture dot com

Lovex23 Lovex23

Age is not a factor at all. Cancer doesn't discriminate. My best friend had to have a double mastectomy at 19. My aunt had it in her early 30's. Another thing I don't get is the whole breast feeding thing. Does it really lower your chances? My grandma passed away from breast cancer and she exclusively breast fed all 4 of her children. Also my aunt who had it in her 30's exclusively breastfed her 3 kids for a little over 2 years!

kellynh kellynh

I do not believe these myths. This is quite close to home since my Gram and Aunt both have had it.

Madel... Madelaine

Good to know!

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

I don't believe them.

MamaM... MamaMandee

Thanks for the info! 

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