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Breast Cancer Myths

breast cancer myths

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in eight American women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives? Every 120 seconds a woman in the US receives a breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the US and the most common worldwide.

With education, early detection, and breakthroughs in treatment, the death rate from breast cancer has been declining since the 1990s. There currently more than 3.5 million survivors of breast cancer in the US.

Despite the push by medical professionals and various organizations to educate men and women about breast cancer, misconceptions and incorrect information still find their way into peoples’ lives.

Myths About Breast Cancer: Setting the Record Straight

Here, we will share with you some common breast cancer myths and their factual counterparts, as explained by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (NBCF)

Myth #1 – If you have a lump in your breast, it means you have breast cancer

Only a small number of the lumps found in breast tissue turn out to be cancer. But, any persistent lump or changes in the feel or look of your breast tissue should be reported to a doctor and examined by a professional.

Myth #2 – Men can’t get breast cancer

A small number (approximately 2,000) of men every year are diagnosed with cancer, and more than 400 of them will die. There’s a higher mortality rate for men with breast cancer than women, in part because men are miseducated, do not know what to look for, and early detection is not typical.

Myth #3 – Mammograms can cause cancer to spread.

Mammograms are a crucial part of the early detection of breast cancer.
Breast compression, such as the kind performed during a mammogram, cannot cause breast cancer to spread. The radiation used in mammograms also poses little threat to the patient.The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says, “The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low.”

Myth #4 – Having a family history of breast cancer means you will get breast cancer.

Statistically, according to the NBCF, 90% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.
However, if you have a relative who had breast cancer, you might have a higher risk. Any increased risk is something you should discuss with your doctor so you can take appropriate steps to stay on top of your health.

Myth #5 – Breast cancer is contagious.

Breast cancer is not contagious. You can’t give it to someone else or catch it from someone else.

Myth #6 – If you have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, you will definitely get breast cancer

Not everyone who has one of these genetic mutations will develop breast cancer.
However, according to the NCI, “a woman who has inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 is about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.”

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is a perfect time to make sure you have the facts about breast cancer. It is also a good time to reach out to your friends and family to share what you have learned. Early detection can be the key to successfully treating breast cancer, and having the correct information is a crucial component of the process.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month also provides an opportunity for you to do something special for someone you know who is undergoing cancer treatments. Chemo and radiation can be difficult to endure, even when the outlook is good.

Cancer Gift Boxes For Women With Breast Cancer

If someone you love has cancer, send them a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.


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