Like any prevalent disease, there is a lot of information surrounding breast cancer, it’s treatment, and how to prevent it. Unfortunately, some of the “facts” you may have heard about breast cancer are simply not true. Learn to separate fact from fiction by recognizing these myths about breast cancer.
1. If no one in your family has had breast cancer, you won’t get it.
While having a parent, sibling or child who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer does double your risk, most cases (more than 75%) are diagnosed in women with no family history of the disease.
2. Only women are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Although the numbers of cases of men with breast cancer is much lower, according to the American Cancer Society, about 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in 2016, and 440 men will die from breast cancer. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
3. Getting mammograms can cause breast cancer to spread.
You do receive a small amount of radiation exposure when getting a mammogram, but according to the National Cancer Institute, “The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low.”
4. Larger breasts mean a greater chance of getting breast cancer.
The size of your breasts doesn’t contribute to cancer risk, but the density does. Breast density it typically lower in large breasts, but the only sure way to know your density is to get a mammogram.
5. Breast cancer doesn’t affect younger women.
Breast cancer can affect women (and men) of any age. Women under 50, in fact, account for 25 percent of all breast cancer cases, and they tend to have higher mortality rates. This may be because younger women tend to have denser breasts, which makes spotting a lump during mammograms more difficult.
6. There’s nothing you can do to lower your risk of breast cancer.
Doctors are still unclear about what causes breast cancer, but they do know there are certain factors that can greatly increase your risk. Limit your alcohol intake, don’t smoke, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. If you’re at high risk for breast cancer, a double mastectomy can reduce the risk of a diagnosis by more than 90 percent. women
Sinclair Broadcasting is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we’re introducing Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness and prevention. Here’s a look at what causes are coming up:
January Shape Up U.S. Month
February American Heart Month
March National Nutrition Month
April National Autism Awareness Month
May National Asthma/Allergy Awareness Month
June Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month
July UV Awareness Month
August National Immunization Awareness Month
September Healthy Aging Month
October Breast Cancer Awareness
November American Diabetes Month
December Safe Driving Month