Myths of Breast Cancer

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Breast-Cancer-Myths   For 1 in 8 American women, breast cancer will become a reality. Medical advances and new research have increased understanding of this harsh reality, but lingering myths can make the time of detection and diagnosis unnecessarily rocky. Knowledge is power, and NARA wants you to be equipped with the truth rather than misconception. Check out a couple of debunked myths, courtesy of The American Cancer Society:

  • Claim: Breast cancer is hereditary and you don’t need to be concerned as long as no one in your family has had breast cancer.
    • Ruling: False. While having a family history can increase your risk of breast cancer, 70 to 80 percent of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. For those that do have someone in their family— especially a mother, sister or daughter—that has fought breast cancer, the risk of developing breast cancer is almost twice as high.
  • Claim: A monthly breast exam is the best way to detect breast cancer early.
    • Ruling: False. Once thought to be the most effective form of early detection, monthly breast exams are no longer the universally accepted best form for finding breast cancer early. Women are now encouraged to practice “Breast Self-Awareness,” which is knowing how your breasts look and feel and noting any changes. Most women find lumps while bathing or dressing rather than through a monthly self-performed exam.
  • Claim: Only women are at risk for breast cancer.
    • Ruling: False. While gender is the greatest factor in determining the risk for breast cancer, the disease afflicts both men and women. On average, about 2,200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year, about one for every 1,000 women that are diagnosed annually.
The questions accompanying this disease are endless. It's important that you reach out for answers so you can know as much as possible about your diagnosis.