October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we want you to be as healthy as possible. There are myths associated with Breast Cancer that we want to stop because believing these can either cause you more stress than is necessary or they are hazardous to your health. Or both.
Myth #1: Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer. Actually, only a small percentage of lumps turn out to be breast cancer. If you discover a lump in your breast or notice any changes in your breast tissue, this should not be ignored. Schedule an appointment with us for a breast exam, so that we can determine if any testing or imaging needs to be done.
Myth #2: Only women get breast cancer. Men and women have breasts. Therefore, men are at risk for breast cancer as well as women. Sure, the percentage of men who get breast cancer is much, much smaller than the percentage of women. It still pays to pay attention. Men should check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam as well as women.
Myth #3: If you have a family history of breast cancer, you are likely to develop breast cancer, too. Women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, yet most women who have breast cancer have no family history. A few relationships to keep in mind:
If you have a first degree relative with breast cancer: If you have a mother, daughter, or sister who developed breast cancer under the age of 50, you should consider some form of regular diagnostic breast imaging starting ten years before the age of your relative’s diagnosis.
If you have a second degree relative with breast cancer: If you have had a grandmother or aunt diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk increases slightly, but it is not in the same risk category as those who have a first degree relative with breast cancer.
If you have multiple generations diagnosed with breast cancer on the same side of the family, or if there are several individuals who are first degree relatives to one another or several members of a family are diagnosed under age 50: Your probability increases for a breast cancer gene contributing to the cause of this familial history.
What myths have you heard?
Source: National Breast Cancer Foundation Website (https://nationalbreastcancer.org)