Debunking the breast cancer myths

How many of the myths about breast cancer did you believe before you were diagnosed, or even after? I believe those myths do more harm than just frighten us, they can also obscure the key messages to help women understand their risk of breast cancer.

So let’s debunk some of the most prevalent myths right now!

Myth No 1 – It’s All in the Genes

You know how this one goes. It’s all in your genes, therefore there is nothing you can do to prevent it, so why even try!  In fact, the idea in the public’s mind that if there is no history of cancer in your family, you are somehow protected from getting the disease, is an erroneous one. The fact is that only 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary.

Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes, including lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, and physical activity and environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation. What most people don’t realise is that cancer is preventable in many cases. Learning what causes cancer and what the risk factors are is the first step in cancer prevention. Many cancer risk factors can be avoided, thus reducing the likelihood of developing cancer.

Myth No 2: Red Meat Causes Cancer

In fact no scientific studies have linked red meat or any other specific foods to increased risk of breast cancer but they have shown a link between alcohol consumption, even in moderation, and breast cancer.Alcohol consumption is also linked to several other cancers, including oral, throat, esophagus and liver.

Myth No 3: A Lump in My Breast Means I have Breast Cancer

Not necessarily. Breast tissue is changing all the time because of varying hormone levels, especially during menstruation or breastfeeding.  Lumps can be benign growths of tissue, but if you do feel one you should always have it checked out striaght away to be on the safe side.

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If you want to sort out the facts from the myths check out 9 things you should know about breast cancer

 

Image Credit: Jupiter Images