Believing these “facts” won’t keep you well—and could have serious health consequences
By Danielle Kosecki and Lauren Gelman
Breast Cancer Myths, Debunked
So many rumors and controversies surround breast cancer—what really causes it, what really prevents it—that it can be hard to know whom to believe.
Among diseases rife with myths and half-truths, breast cancer is one of the most misunderstood. Whether it’s the best age to get a mammogram or the symptoms to watch out for, what you think of as fact may actually be completely false. For example, a friend swears that wearing a bra can cause breast cancer, but the reality is that there is no scientific support for this claim.
On the other hand, if you think you’re not at risk because there’s no history of breast cancer in your family, you might be mistaken. And while a lump can certainly signify the presence of cancer, 10% of all women diagnosed with the disease did not have a lump, pain, or other indicators of cancer. The truth is that scientists still don’t know what causes breast cancer—only that certain factors, such as obesity or drinking too much alcohol, may increase risk. Read on to find out how to separate fact from fiction so you can stay safe.
Myth: Breast cancer is largely genetic.
Myth: Small-chested women have a lower risk.
Myth: Breast cancer always appears as a lump.
Myth: Mammograms prevent or reduce your risk.
Myth: Mammograms cause breast cancer.
Myth: Birth control pills cause breast cancer.
Myth: Young women don’t get breast cancer.
Myth: Deodorant and antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Myth: Wearing a bra increases your cancer risk.
Myth: Drinking from a plastic water bottle left in a hot car can cause cancer.
Myth: I had a normal mammogram, so I don’t need to worry about breast cancer.
Myth: Breast cancer is preventable.