Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world and through regular self-examinations and early detection, can be treated.
As there is still a lot of confusion surrounding it with misinformation constantly being spread, many people are not aware of the facts and are usually unaware till someone close to them has been affected by it.
With October being held as breast cancer awareness month, here are some common myths that people may believe in, busted by doctors.
All lumps found on the breast are cancerous
Dr Nazia Salam, Consultant in Family Medicine at Allied Medical Center said that 9 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous and only a small percentage of lumps are cancerous. Some lumps can are benign, which means that they are not cancerous and do not spread.
A biopsy performed on a breast lump will make the cancer spread
According to Dr Rita Daaboul, Consultant General Surgery at Medcare Women and Children Hospital, a breast biopsy helps in diagnosing the condition early as well as in figuring out the course of treatment for the patient and does not worsen the patient’s outcome in any way.
Only women get breast cancer
Although breast cancer is most prevalent in women, men are at a 1% risk of developing breast cancer. Dr Nazia Salam, Consultant in Family Medicine at Allied Medical Center said that men need to also make sure they do self-examinations to prevent the risk of breast cancer.
Underwire bras cause cancer
The spread of misinformation on underwire bras causing cancer started when a book released in the 90s said that wearing tight bras with an underwire can cause breast cancer as it traps the lymphatic system and causes toxins to be released into the breast tissue. According to Dr Virginia Midrigan, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Mediclinic Middle East, bras have no relation to breast cancer as studies have shown that there is no difference between individuals that wear bras with underwires in comparison to individuals that do not wear bras.
Deodrants can cause breast cancer
As mentioned by Dr Nazia Salam, Consultant in Family Medicine at Allied Medical Center, researchers have not found any evidence that links the use of antiperspirants and deodorants to the development of breast cancer.
A mammogram can cause cancer to spread
Dr Mehdi Afrit, Medical Oncologist Specialist at Burjeel Speciality Hospital said that the myth is not true as people that get mammograms can help in identifying if they have cancer, which can then be treated based on the diagnosis.
If a person in the family has breast cancer, then you are likely to develop breast cancer
If a person in the family has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is important to self examine as well as get regular check-ups as the individual is in the higher risk category. However, according to Dr Nazia Salam, Consultant in Family Medicine at Allied Medical Center, only 10% of people with a family history get diagnosed with breast cancer and most women with breast cancer have no prior family history.
Breast cancer is now treatable when diagnosed early so this month, make sure to check in with friends and family and raise awareness on the importance of self-examinations to ensure their health and safety.