Though there are many diseases that are rife with myths and half-truths, breast cancer is one of the most misunderstood. Whether it’s the ideal age to get yourself screened or the symptoms that you should watch out for, a lot of what you consider fact may actually be false. Dr. Arun Goel, Senior Consultant, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali, debunks some of the most common myths that surround breast cancer.
Myth: Wearing a wired bra increases your risk of getting breast cancer
In reality, claims that wired bra increases the risk of breast cancer have been thoroughly debunked. It doesn’t matter what type of bra you wear, how tight it is, or whether you wear one at all. The truth is that there is no connection between the type of clothes worn and your risk of contracting breast cancer.
Myth: Men don’t get breast cancer
In reality, men also can suffer from breast cancer. Though male breasts do not resemble those of a woman, they still contain breast tissue as females do. Studies have shown that the risk of men developing breast cancer is about 100 times less than a woman. Regardless, men should not dismiss early symptoms of breast cancer and should get themselves checked if they exhibit any of the symptoms.
Myth: A lump in the breast means that you have breast cancer
Unlike the other myths, this one does contain a grain of truth. While your breasts should not have any lumps, not all lumps are cancerous. A lot of the time breast lumps are benign tumours, which are harmless, or merely blocked milk ducts with accumulated milk. So, if you find a lump in your breast, don’t panic. Consult a doctor and let them figure out whether it’s cancer or not.
Myth: Breast Cancer is largely genetic
In reality, only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are because of faulty genes received from parents. There are two main genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are responsible for most of the genetic cases of breast cancer. However, many other genes have been found which can increase the risk of breast cancer if they are abnormal. Even in women who have a family history of breast cancer, many cases are due to other factors such as smoking and other lifestyle factors.
Breast cancer is a disease that requires speedy and accurate diagnosis as well as well-planned treatment. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into the misleading web of lies that surrounds breast cancer. If you exhibit any of the symptoms of breast cancer, consult a doctor immediately and get yourself screened.
An early diagnosis and timely treatment increase your chances of successfully beating this illness. In early breast cancer, cure rates can be more than 90% if treatment is carried out at best cancer centres.