Breast Myth Busters
Learn the Truth about Proper Breast Health
With so much information out there about breast issues, sometimes it's difficult to separate myth from reality. But, without a realistic picture of the disease, you may not recognize whether you're at risk and take steps to protect yourself. That's why knowing the truth is so important. Here are a few common beliefs about the disease, followed by what Breast Surgeon Dr. Nancy J. Taft believes you really need to know:
Myth: Mammograms hurt.
Reality: A mammogram may feel awkward, but it isn't painful. The compression only lasts for a few minutes and the pressure can be adjusted.
Myth: Digital mammography isn't worth it.
Reality: Studies show digital mammography is the most accurate screening available for detecting breast cancer in women under the age of 50.
Myth: No one in my family had breast cancer. I'm not at risk.
Reality: Simply being a woman puts you at risk. Increasing age is a big factor as well.
Myth: Doing a breast self-exam every month is the best way to detect a lump.
Reality: You may be more likely to notice a new lump or other changes if you're familiar with how your breasts normally feel. But, a mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer, the NCI says. One of these X-rays can detect a tumor well before you'd be able to feel it with your fingers. The earlier that breast cancer is detected, the more effective treatment is likely to be.
Myth: The following can cause breast cancer:
Antiperspirant and deodorant use
Reality: A variety of false theories about breast cancer risk factors cause unnecessary concerns for many women. The above products have been studied and found to not have any impact on breast cancer risk.
Myth: Sleeping with a bra on can lead to cancer.
Reality: According to the American Cancer Society, there is "no scientific or clinical basis" to an Internet rumor that claims that under-wire bras cause breast cancer. However, you should go braless for a few hours every day just so the breasts aren't restricted.
Myth: Taking a cold shower will help to ensure my breasts stay perky.
Reality: Although there have not been any studies linked to this theory, Swedish women regularly jet their breasts with super quick cold showers. Some experts agree that this helps tighten the breast muscles and keeps breasts perky and firm. Other non-clinical remedies for perky breasts include increasing your protein and avoiding weight gain.
LCMCancerCare.org is an educational web site for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of regular medical checkups.