Breast Cancer-Some Common Myths
Myth: Radiation therapy increases the chances of the breast cancer spreading.
Radiation therapy is done with the intention of reducing the spread of the cancer. Therefore, if you have cancer in one breast and if you go for radiation therapy for it, the chance of it spreading to the other breast does not exist. However, teenage girls who receive chest radiation for Hodgkin's disease do run the risk of developing breast cancer because newly developing breasts are vulnerable to damage by radiation.
Myth: A mammogram will prevent breast cancer.
Mammograms are only used as a means of detection; whether or not you have a malignancy, it will in no way prevent you from getting one. If the malignancy is detected at an early stage by mammography, the chances of it being cured are very good. Mammography is the only possible means of detecting a malignancy in women who do not have an evident physical signs, that is, a lump in the breast. It is recommended that women over 40 years of age have a mammogram every year.
Myth: Breast feeding gives rise to breast cancer.
This is not so. Studies have shown that breast feeding may actually decrease the chances of a woman getting breast cancer. This is not confirmed data however. Women who breast feed can certainly get breast cancer but breastfeeding feeding is definitely not a cause of getting it.
Myth: Mammograms are dangerous and breast cancer can spread by having one done.
Mammograms are actually x-rays of the breast using very low levels of radiation of about 0.1 to 0.2 rad dose per x-ray. It is best if you speak with your physician who will answer all the question you will need to ask.
Myth: Wearing bras with under-wire can cause breast cancer.
What is suggested is that by wearing bras with the under-wire it can cause constriction of the body's lymph node system and theby resulting in breast cancer. This is completely false.
Myth: An injury to the breast can be the cause of breast cancer.
As a result of an injury, you will not develop breast cancer; you can however develop a non cancerous lodging due to an injury.
Myth: Nipple discharge indications breast cancer.
Most of the nipple discharges are not an indication of a catastrophic condition.
A watery or a bloody nipple discharge is said to be abnormal, of which, only about 10 percent are considered cancerous. Most of the bloody discharges are due to papillomas, which are non-cancerous. If the discharge is milky, green, yellow or clear it is not cancerous. However if a woman has a nipple discharge about which she is concerned then she should consult her physician who will then probably do a clinical examination. Some nipple discharges that should be further examined are if they are persistent, if it appears without even having to squeeze the nipple, if it is some other fluid other than breast milk, if it is from one breast only, bloody or watery with a brown , red or pink coloration and if it is sticky and clear in color or black or brown.