Top 5 Misconceptions About Breast Cancer
To do our part in raising awareness of breast cancer this Pinktober, Oasis Living looked at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding the illness
Breast cancer is the most
commonly occurring cancer
in women and the second
most common cancer overall.
There have been over 2 million cases
of breast cancer reported worldwide in
2018 alone, and in the UAE, it makes up
44 per cent of cancers among women.
Yet, in spite of its alarming prevalence,
there are many misconceptions
surrounding it and a lack of knowledge
can be just as harmful and dangerous.
Here are five myths that need to be
#1 Men can't get breast cancer
While men don't develop breasts as
women do, their bodies are still home
to breast cells and tissues which are
capable of mutating into cancerous
cells. Cases of male breast cancer
are rare though and, according to the
National Breast Cancer Foundation in
Australia, only one in a thousand men
will ever be diagnosed with breast
cancer as opposed to one in eight
women being diagnosed. Men should
get in the habit of conducting at-home
self-examinations as well.
#2 Breast cancer runs in the family
Family history does add an increased
risk but only five to 10 per cent of the
cases are thought to be hereditary.
Otherwise, everyone is at risk of
breast cancer with lifestyle and
environmental factors - like poor diet,
lack of exercise, obesity, drinking
alcohol, and hormone therapy - also
playing a hand.
#3 Bras, deodorants, antiperspirants,
and shaving cause breast cancer
Such claims have been circling around
since the nineties but have no real
evidence to support them. Women
are advised against wearing certain
products containing aluminium before
partaking in a mammogram though as
the element can show up on the image
and provide an inaccurate reading.
#4 Finding a lump means you have
There are different reasons why a lump
develops, and most are not cancerous,
nor do they pose risk. Common causes
include infections, trauma, fluid-filled
cysts or fat deposits. If you do detect
a lump, it is best to have it evaluated
#5 Breast cancer is contagious
You cannot catch or transfer cancer
to someone else. There is no evidence
which suggests that any form of close
or physical contact can spread cancer to
another person. Cancer is the result of
the growth of mutated cells within the
body, there is nothing viral about it.