Equip yourself with knowledge about breast cancer here. By Dawn Chen
Breast cancer myths and facts. Photo: 123RF.com/ My Make OU
A recent survey commissioned by the Estee Lauder Companies of over 6,000 women found that while many Singaporean women claim to be familiar with breast cancer, a fifth of respondents report never having done breast self-examinations, and only 38 per cent said they’d tell someone if they found potential issues with their breasts. In reality, breast self-examinations should be done monthly, and any potential problems should be reported as early as possible. Many survey respondents also had many misconceptions about the disease. Read on to equip yourself about the common myths and facts surrounding breast cancer.
Myth: Underwired bras can cause breast cancer.
Fact: While 11 per cent of those surveyed believed that wearing underwired bras can cause breast cancer, there is currently no scientific evidence to prove the correlation. Likewise, there is also no scientific proof that deodorants and antiperspirants cause breast cancer.
Myth: Breast cancer always comes in the form of lumps.
Fact: Lumps are not the only symptoms of breast cancer, even though 32 per cent of survey respondents believed so. Other symptoms to look out for include a persistent rash around the nipple, bleeding or discharge from the nipple, a nipple that’s retracted and swelling on one side of the breast.
Myth: As long as the lump is not painful, it is not cancerous.
Fact: It’s common to think that only cancerous lumps are painful, but the reality is that most breast cancer lumps tend to be hard and painless. If you’ve detected such a lump, get it checked by a doctor as soon as you can.
Myth: Only older women get breast cancer.
Fact: Breast cancer can occur at any age – and can even affect men. According to WebMD, seven per cent of all breast cancer cases happen in women below 40 years of age. And though rare, it can affect men as well.
Myth: A mastectomy is the only way to get rid of breast cancer.
Fact: Out of the survey respondents, 14 per cent believed that mastectomies were the only way to treat breast cancer. Thankfully, that is untrue as mastectomies are not required for all cases of breast cancers. Treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer and the type of cancer cells.