Breast cancer: Sorting fact from fiction

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 myths about breast cancer

The modern world is abuzz with information – whether you’re chatting to mums or devouring search results like they’re triple-cooked chips. However, it’s worth remembering that some info should be taken with a grain of salt.

And when it comes to a subject like breast cancer, it’s especially important to sort fact from fiction. Not everything you hear about the disease is correct, but luckily the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is here to let us know what’s true and what’s not.

Here are 7 myths about breast cancer, busted by the NBCF.

Myth 1:
If you have a lump, it’s cancer

According to the NBCF, most breast lumps aren’t cancerous – they’re benign. They might be cysts or caused by normal hormonal changes and ageing. However, if you notice something unusual or find a change in your breast, then see your doc.

Myth 2:
Not breastfeeding can cause breast cancer

Fortunately, there isn’t a link between not breastfeeding and breast cancer.

If you do breastfeed, then research has found that breastfeeding (and pregnancy) give women long-term protection from breast cancer, even into your 60’s and 70’s. Also, the more months you spend breastfeeding, the lower your risk of getting the disease, especially if you breastfeed for more than a year.

Myth 3:
Wearing an underwire bra causes breast cancer

There is no proof that underwire bras or tight brassieres increase your risk of the disease.

Myth 4:
Breast cancer is contagious

Breast cancer isn’t something you can catch from someone else. It’s caused by uncontrolled cell growth that isn’t contagious.

Myth 5:
Underarm antiperspirants cause breast cancer

There is no conclusive evidence that antiperspirants cause breast cancer (by building up toxins in the underarm lymph glands).

Myth 6:
Bumping or bruising your boob can cause breast cancer

The NBCF says there’s no evidence that this can cause breast cancer, however, a bump or bruise might draw your attention to a lump that’s already there.

Myth 7:
Having a miscarriage or abortion causes breast cancer

Research has shown no link between the end of a pregnancy (whether by miscarriage or abortion) and an increased risk of breast cancer.

 

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