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Misconceptions About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death. According to World Health Organization figures, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, with 30% of those diagnosed dying. Breast cancer, where full recovery is feasible with early detection and treatment, necessitates more awareness and protection through accurate information.Myth: Breast cancer is a myth that solely affects women.
Fact: Although men can get breast cancer, it is extremely rare. Men account for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases.

Myth: Those with a family history of breast cancer are the only ones who are at risk.

Fact: Although having a family history of breast cancer increases the risk of developing the disease, around 80% of breast cancers occur in people who have no risk factors.

Myth: Breast cancer is a genetic disease, according to popular belief.

Fact: Genetic abnormalities are found in just 5-10% of breast tumors. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes that have been linked to breast cancer. Only 0.1 percent of women have this gene, and BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene carriers account for only 5% of breast cancer cases.

Myth: Breast cancer risk diminishes with age.

Fact: As you become older, your chances of developing breast cancer increase. In fact, one of the most significant risk factors for breast cancer is one’s age. Breast cancer risk is 1/2212 at 30 years old, 1/233 at 40 years old, 1/69 at 50 years old, 1/38 at 60 years old, 1/27 at 70 years old, 1/10 at 80 years old, and 1/8 for life.

Myth: All lumps in the breast are cancerous.

Fact: Approximately 80% of breast lumps are benign. If you feel a lump in your breast, however, see your doctor right once. Cancer can be detected early, which increases your chances of being cured.

Myth: Breast cancer is always accompanied by a lump.

Fact: Despite the fact that a breast mass is one of the most common cancer signs, some women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may not have a large mass. As a result, if you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor right away:

Inflammation of the breasts,

Breast skin shrinking, appearance of an orange peel, redness

A change in the breast’s form,

Crusting, peeling, and crusting of the lips

Changes in the form of the nipple, nipple collapse

The nipple is discharged.

Myth: Breast cancer is less likely in women with small breast tissue.

Fact: The size of the breast tissue has no bearing on the risk of breast cancer.

Myth: If a lump in your breast hurts, it’s not cancer.

Fact: Pain is present in approximately 10% of all breast cancer cases. Breast pain, on the other hand, is rarely a symptom of malignancy. There is no need for additional testing if the physical examination, mammography, and ultrasound are all normal in individuals with breast pain because the risk of breast cancer is very low.

Myth: Breast cancer risk is increased by fibrocystic alterations and thick breast tissue, according to myth.

Fact: Fibrocystic alterations in the breast are benign abnormalities that do not raise the risk of breast cancer. Fibrocystic alterations and the density of breast tissue, on the other hand, may mask malignancy on mammography. If fibrocystic abnormalities are detected in a woman and mammography findings are normal, further procedures such as breast ultrasound and breast MRI may be performed.

Myth: Breast cancer is always indicated by nipple discharge.

Fact: The great majority of nipple discharges are caused by benign breast conditions. It is not an indication of cancer if you have a white, yellow, or green discharge from both breasts that does not occur on its own (comes when squeezing the breast). The presence of clear discharges such as blood or water should be regarded as abnormal. Only 10% of these discharges, however, are found to be cancerous. Papillomas in the milk duct, a benign breast condition, are the most common source of bloody discharges. Nipple discharge could be an indication of cancer in the following situations. You must seek medical advice:

You’ve reached the age of 40.

-If the flow is only one way,

If it happens on its own, it’s not a big deal.

-If it’s clear, like blood or water,

If joined by a large crowd

Myth: Breast trauma leads to cancer.

Fact: Breast cancer is not caused by trauma or injury to the breast. Trauma, on the other hand, can cause bruising in the breast and a benign tumor known as fat necrosis. Fat necrosis occurs when the adipose tissue in the damaged breast swells and becomes sensitized. As the body heals the damaged tissue, hard scar tissue can form. It can be mistaken for breast cancer on mammography.

Myth: Mammography detects early breast cancer with 100 percent accuracy.

Fact: Despite the fact that mammography is the gold standard for identifying breast cancer, it cannot detect 100% of cases. Mammography has an accuracy rate of around 80% in detecting breast cancer in women of all ages. The accuracy of mammography is affected by the patient’s age, breast tissue density, and menopausal status. Mammography may be unable to differentiate the mass if the irregularity in the breast and the surrounding breast tissue have the same density. Even if your mammogram is normal, your doctor’s physical examination is always more important.

Breast cancer is caused by mammography, according to a popular myth.

Fact: Mammography is a safe procedure. The radiation dosages delivered by today’s mammography machines are extremely low. This amount does not affect the breast tissue or the body in any way. A mammography is safe to get.

Myth: Mammography promotes the spread of breast cancer.

Fact: Mammography is one of the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early. Breast cancer does not spread as a result of the mammography beam or the compression of breast tissue for mammography.

Misconceptions About Breast Cancer

Updated: 18 November 2021, 04:33