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Debunking Myths

Times of India
21 October 2011

Debunking Myths
MYTH | Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer
FACT | Eight out of ten lumps are benign. If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes in breast tissue, consult a doctor immediately. Sometimes, fearing the worst, we delay or even try and avoid medical care

MYTH | Men do not get breast cancer
FACT | While the percentage of men who are diagnosed with breast cancer is small, men should also give themselves monthly exams and note changes to their doctors. Breast cancer in men is more aggressive and tends to be detected at later stage

MYTH | Having a family history of breast cancer means that you will get it
FACT | Women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group. That said, studies have shown that most women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. If you have a mother, daughter, sister or grandmother who had breast cancer, you should have a mammogram five years before the age of their diagnosis

MYTH | Breast cancer is a communicable disease.
FACT | You cannot ‘catch’ breast cancer or ‘transfer’ it to another person. It is the result of uncontrolled cell growth in your own body

MYTH | Using antiperspirants can increase the risk
FACT | There is no evidence supporting the myth that using any common deodorant or antiperspirant increases the risk of breast cancer

MYTH | Birth control pills can give you breast cancer
FACT | This misconception is due to the fact that birth control pills contain doses of hormones used to regulate the menstrual cycle. Though these hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, do not cause women to develop breast cancer, several studies have concluded that taking birth control pills may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer later in life. This theory is still being tested, and as of now, there is no definite answer to this theory

MYTH | A mammogram can cause the cancer to spread
FACT | An X-ray of the breast is called a mammogram. The X-ray and the compression on the breast from the X-ray machine cannot cause the cancer to spread

MYTH | Surgery for breast cancer means removal of the whole breast (mastectomy)
FACT | If the cancer is detected early, there is no need for removal of the whole breast . It has been proved in several trials that breast conservation surgery is equally safe and effective as mastectomy, and the cosmetic results are excellent

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