When it comes to breast cancer, there are two definite facts: one out of eight women will be diagnosed with the disease, and that this disease is the top cause of cancer-related deaths among women in Singapore. Still, there are a lot of information about the disease that’s just not true. To clear things up, this article tackles misinformation about breast cancer so that you can make more informed decisions with regards to your health.

1. MYTH: Breast Cancer Only Occurs to Women

Fact: Men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too, although it’s a hundred times less common among them. For men, the lifetime risk of acquiring breast cancer is about one in 1,000. Diagnoses of the disease usually come at the later stage for men, which causes the significant increase in their mortality rate. Some of the signs of breast cancer among men include lumps, swelling, nipple discharge, and skin dimpling.

2. MYTH: Breast Cancer Only Happen to Older Women

Fact: When it comes to age, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. Although increasing age is a risk factor for getting breast cancer, it doesn’t mean that younger women are not vulnerable to the disease. In fact, it tends to be more aggressive in younger women. To better understand your risk of acquiring breast cancer, know your family history – both maternal and paternal histories – and consult your doctor.

3. MYTH: Every Breast Cancer is the Same

Fact: According to a study conducted by Singapore health experts, there are different types of breast cancer. Researchers are now discovering that the major subtypes of the disease – HER2-Positive, Triple Negative, and Luminal A and B – can be further classified into sub-categories with different progression patterns and response to treatment, which opens the door to more individualized treatment plans.

4. MYTH: The Disease is Always in the Form of Lump

Fact: Lump formation is a sign of breast cancer, but there are other signs during your breast cancer screening in Singapore that can point to a breast cancer diagnosis, such as skin irritation, nipple inversion, swelling, redness, or discharge other than breast milk.

5. MYTH: Deodorant and Wired Bras Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Fact: This is one misinformation that has been easily debunked by research. A study conducted by a group of health experts found that bra-wearing habits, such as using an underwire bra or number of hours worn, are not linked with an increased risk of breast cancer among post-menopausal women. In addition, there’s no conclusive evidence associating the use of deodorants and antiperspirants with developing breast cancer Singapore.

6. MYTH: Regular Mammograms are Not Necessary

Fact: Although proper diet and exercise reduces the risk of getting breast cancer, scientists still don’t fully understand what really causes breast cancer – or the impact of other factors – and that’s why health experts recommend having regular mammogram screenings as an integral part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Visit your doctor to know when you should start having an annual mammogram screening, since the age you should start getting them may vary depending on the medical history of your family.

7. MYTH: Breast Cancer Only Affects Those with Family History of the Disease

Fact: Unfortunately, anyone can be diagnosed with breast cancer. About 70 percent of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer had no identifiable risk factors. Still, having a first-degree family member (sibling, parent or child) with breast cancer doubles your risk of acquiring the disease, but it’s still possible to get it even without any family history.

8. MYTH: Busty Women Are More Likely to Get Breast Cancer

Fact: Breast size doesn’t really contribute to breast cancer Singapore, but breast density does. Breasts with higher densities have an increased likelihood of getting breast cancer. The only sure way to know about your breast density is to have a mammogram screening, but do know that breast density is typically lower in large breasts.

9. MYTH: Mastectomy is Needed if You’re Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Fact: Although it’s necessary in some cases, this belief is not entirely true. Depending on the stage of your breast cancer, your oncologist may recommend undergoing radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, mastectomy, or a combination of these treatments. Diagnosis of breast cancer, especially if it’s detected early enough, doesn’t always mean that you’ll lose the affected breast.

10. MYTH: Miscarriage and Abortion Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Fact: While there are evidences that having children before the age of 30 reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, there’s no research to support the idea that early end of pregnancy through abortion or miscarriage could increase one’s risk of getting breast cancer.

11. MYTH: Breast Implants Causes Breast Cancer

Fact: A good news for those who are thinking of reducing or enhancing their bust size is that there’s no proven link between increased breast cancer risk and breast plastic surgeries. Implants can make mammograms difficult, but it won’t increase your chances of developing the disease. In fact, women who’ll undergo breast reduction surgery might see a decrease in their breast cancer risk.

12. MYTH: Radiation Emitted by Screening Tests Causes Breast Cancer

Fact: Although mammograms give off a small amount of radiation, its radiation dose is much lesser than a standard chest X-ray. It’s such a low level that it won’t increase your breast cancer risk. Also, know that ultrasounds and MRIs (Magnetic Resource Imaging), which can also be used to screen breast cancer, contain no radiation at all.
Armed with these breast cancer facts, you’re now capable of reducing your risk of developing the disease or planning a treatment in case you develop breast cancer.