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Top 10 Breast Cancer Myths


Updated November 14, 2010

Through the years, there have been quite a few rumors and myths floating around about breast cancer. This list dispels the rumors and myths of breast cancer.

1. Men can't get breast cancer.

This breast cancer myth is highly believed by many people. Although women develop breast cancer at a higher rate, men can develop breast cancer, too. About 1600 men will develop breast cancer in the US this year.

2. Underwire bras can cause breast cancer.

There was a rumor circulating years ago about underwire bras causing cancer. The good thing is that this myth is not true. It was thought that wearing an underwire bra could

3. Women under 40 don't get breast cancer.

Yes, a woman's risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, but women of all ages can develop breast cancer. This is why women of all ages need to preform a monthly breast self exam.

4. Antiperspirants and deodorants can cause breast cancer.

This is probably the most popular breast cancer myth of all. The rumor indicated that when you used deodorant or an antiperspirant and then cut yourself while shaving, a chemical could leak into the skin, causing breast cancer. Thank goodness it isn't true, but many women still go without wearing deodorant because of the myth.

5. Birth control pills cause cancer.

Birth control pills do contain small amounts of estrogen, however the amount is so small, it is not even a factor in breast cancer development. If you have any concerns about the use of oral contraceptives and breast cancer, please talk to your physician.

6. Mammograms can spread breast cancer, or even cause it.

The amount of radiation is so low that there is no doubt that mammograms are safe. There is a standard for safety established for mammograms by the American College of Radiology, and is mandated by Congress.

7. A lump in the breast is breast cancer.

A lump in the breast can indicate many things, not just cancer. More than 80% percent of lumps found are benign.

8. Breast cancer only develops in one breast.

Breast cancer has the ability to develop, or spread in both breasts.

9. A mastectomy is the only treatment for breast cancer.

There are several treatments for breast cancer including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Mastectomy is not the only option.

10. Women with small breasts have a very low risk of developing breast cancer.

The amount of breast tissue a woman has does not affect her risk factor for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer does not discriminate against large or small breasts.
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