Breast Cancer: Myths and Truths

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Do you know what's fact, what's fiction?
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers women. But while awareness of breast cancer is increasing, myths and misconceptions still exist. Here's what's true and what's not about this disease.

Myth: Breast cancer is a death sentence.
Truth: If detected and treated early enough, breast cancer need not result in death. Early detection can help save lives and breasts.

Myth: Breast cancer is contagious.
Truth: You cannot be infected with breast cancer through physical contact (touching, drinking out of the same cup, sharing food, or having sex).

Myth: If I have bigger breasts, I have a higher chance of getting breast cancer.
Truth: This has not been proven by research. Someone who is well-endowed has an equal chance of getting breast cancer as one who has smaller breasts. Being overweight, however, does increase your risk.

Myth: Deodorants, anti-perspirants or wearing bras cause cancer.
Truth: To date, there is no scientific data to support these claims.

Myth: All breast lumps are cancerous.
Truth: Nine out of 10 breast lumps are not cancer. Besides, a persistent lump or thickening in the breast or armpit area, other signs of breast cancer include:

  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Changes in the colour or skin of the breast, areola or nipple (e.g. dimpling, puckering or scaling)
  • Blood or discharge from the nipple
  • A newly retracted (pulled in) nipple

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