Get the Facts: Debunking Breast Cancer Myths

by: cancercompass

The Internet is a wonderful tool, but it can also lead to widespread (or just locally spread) panic. How many times have you taken to the Internet to investigate an ailment, or find out more information on a health-related topic? While online research can certainly help, the best bet is to listen to your doctor.

With so much dishonesty out there, cancer-related myths can run rampant, leaving people unsure of what’s true and what’s false.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Parade Magazine listed 10 breast cancer myths and the truth behind each.

Being aware of the facts can be useful to help catch breast cancer early, which can improve the chances of treating before the disease can spread. For example, take a look at myth number 4: Most people who get diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of the disease. The article notes that only about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary. Therefore, even if your family does not have a history of breast cancer, it is still important to get screened and perform self-exams.

Other myths that are debunked might make you feel a little more comfortable with your diagnosis, such as fact number 8: Only about 5 to 10 percent of mammogram results require biopsies for further testing, and of those biopsies only 15 percent turn out to be cancer. Therefore, if your doctor suggests additional testing after a mammogram, it does not mean that you definitely have cancer.

Of all the myths, number 3 is probably the best one to recognize. That myth is as follows: A breast cancer diagnosis means you’re going to die. This is far from the truth. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for stage 1 breast cancer is nearly 90%. The number decreases as the stages get higher, but even stage IIIA is as high as 67%.

I think that myth is extremely important to note, because with breast cancer, this is always hope, no matter what stage you are at when diagnosed. Take a look at the rest of the 10 Myths, and make sure you understand the real facts about breast cancer.