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6 Myths About Breast Cancer Risk Factors Every Woman Should Know

Statistics show that 1 in 8 women in America will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the time they reach 85. These numbers are frightening, which is why this type of cancer causes the most worry among women. Because of this worry, there are some common myths and false information that make women avoid certain foods, products, activities and behavior which they believe will increase their risk of breast cancer. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support the belief that cutting these things out have any effect on a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. The following are the 6 most common myths concerning increased breast cancer risk.

1. Wearing an underwire bra

There has been a misconception for years that wearing underwire bras may bring about breast cancer. According to a recent study, there is no link between breast cancer and wearing any kind of bra. Therefore, it doesn’t matter when you started wearing bra, what your cup size is or whether it has an underwire. This research is pretty reassuring.

2. Having a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Being exposed to radiation could be associated with increased cancer risk but the amount of radiation during a mammogram is insignificant. Yet, mammography is used to detect breast cancer and other changes in women, so having regular tests can help reduce the number deaths in women over 40. Annual mammograms are recommended for women starting at age 40. Additionally, screening for breast cancer may include having an ultrasound or MRI as well. Radiation is not present in these techniques, only sound waves and magnets.

3. Not breastfeeding your baby

Contrary to this myth, many studies suggest that you can reduce the risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding your baby. Moreover, breast milk is the best food for your baby’s health. There is no scientific proof suggesting that breastfeeding raises your risk.

4. Having an abortion

This myth is based on the belief that having an abortion may influence hormone levels. However, there is no evidence supporting this theory. Other factors concerning hormone levels such as not having children, starting a period early or going through menopause late may increase the risk of breast cancer.

5. Getting breast implants

A number of studies have attempted to link breast cancer and getting breast implants - in vain. This myth is also unfounded. However, one concern that has troubled women for years is that doctors cannot see breast cancer in women with breast implants during mammography. Rest assured that in such cases additional mammographic views are performed along with x-rays.

6. Having large breasts

Big breasts do not increase the risk of breast cancer, but it can be harder to screen them for breast cancer. However, if the size of your breasts is not the result of being obese or overweight, you have nothing to worry about. Additionally, it can be more difficult to screen lumpy breasts as well, but those lumps should not be mistaken for tumors if you have regular mammograms and your doctor has access to all prior test images.

Image source: Flickr.com

Jess

Jess

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