There are myths surrounding breast cancer, from underwire bras, deodorants, to powder usage in women, falsely believed to be causative factors.
Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also referred to as ‘Pinktober’?
As reported by the MyHealth portal, breast cancer remains a prevalent health concern for women in Malaysia, with one in 19 women being at risk of developing the disease.
While there are various factors contributing to the onset of breast cancer, certain myths persist, leading individuals to believe in specific causative agents.
Let’s explore seven common misconceptions about breast cancer:
#1 Cancer Affects Women of All Ages
Typically, breast cancer cases are most frequently recorded among women aged 50 to 70.
However, it’s crucial to note that breast cancer can strike women under 40 as well.
Research by Dr. Zamzuri Zakaria, a Breast Surgeon and Endocrinologist at Am Hospital Thomson Kota Damansara, reveals that 15% of breast cancer patients in Malaysia are below 40 years old. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, men are also susceptible to breast cancer.
#2 Family History Isn’t the Sole Determining Factor
The assumption that a family history of cancer increases the risk for subsequent generations is a myth.
In fact, 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no familial history or other risk factors.
Only 10% to 15% of cases involve a family history. Genetic factors are not the exclusive contributors to this disease, as there are other elements at play.
#3 Breast Size and Cancer Risk
Despite popular belief, breast size is not a determining factor for breast cancer risk. Cancer arises from abnormal cell growth, unrelated to breast size.
#4 Not All Lumps Are Cancerous
The presence of lumps in the breast is one symptom of breast cancer. However, not all lumps indicate cancer.
Studies have found that less than 15% of breast lumps are non-cancerous. It’s important to consult a medical professional for proper evaluation.
#5 Debunking Myths about Underwire Bras, Deodorants, and Powders
Rumours about underwire bras impeding toxin flow, as well as deodorants and powders containing harmful chemicals causing breast cancer, have been disproven by scientific research.
These claims are unsubstantiated.
#6 Mammograms Aid in Early Detection
Mammogram screenings play a crucial role in early detection, which is pivotal in reducing the risk of breast cancer.
However, it’s essential to understand that mammograms are not a preventive measure but a diagnostic tool.
#7 Cancer Is Not Necessarily Fatal
Contrary to common belief, a cancer diagnosis does not equate to a death sentence.
Early detection significantly improves survival rates, with studies indicating a 10-year survival rate of up to 95% for breast cancer.
Advancements in technology and treatments have empowered many patients to overcome this disease.
In conclusion, it’s important to dispel these breast cancer myths. To address any concerns, seek medical confirmation if you notice any abnormalities in your breast health.
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