8 myths and truths about breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the main types of cancer worldwide, being the biggest responsible for the great part of the new cases of cancer, in women, each year.

However, this is also a type of cancer that, when identified early, has a high chance of cure and, therefore, screening for breast cancer is very important, especially for people at higher risk, such as having a family history of the disease . Find out more about breast cancer and who is most at risk of developing .

In order to contribute to the awareness of this type of cancer, we present the 8 main myths and truths:

1. A lump in the breast that hurts is a sign of cancer.

MYTH . No single symptom serves to confirm or rule out the diagnosis of breast cancer, so although there are women in whom breast cancer causes pain, that is, where the lump causes some kind of discomfort, there are also many others where there is no kind of pain.

In addition, there are also several cases in which the woman feels pain in the breast and does not present any type of malignant change, which may be caused only by hormonal dysregulation. Check out the main causes of breast pain and what to do .

2. Cancer only occurs in older women.

MYTH . Although it is more common in women after 50, breast cancer can also develop in young women. In these cases, there are also generally other risk factors that can increase the chances, such as eating unhealthy food, having a family history of breast cancer, or being constantly exposed to toxic substances such as air pollution, cigarette smoke or alcohol .

So, regardless of age, the most important thing is to always consult the mastologist when there is any type of change in the breast.

3. Some signs of cancer can be identified at home.

TRUTH . There are some signs that can be indicative of cancer and that, in fact, can be observed at home. For this, the best way to identify any changes is to do the breast self-examination, which, although it is not considered a preventive exam of cancer, helps the person to know their body better, allowing to identify any changes early. 

Some changes that may indicate a risk of cancer include changes in the size of the breasts, presence of a large lump, frequent itching of the nipple, changes in the skin of the breast or retraction of the nipple. When these symptoms appear, it is recommended to consult a doctor, to identify the cause and start the appropriate treatment. 

4. It is possible to get breast cancer.

MYTH.  The only types of illness that can be caught are those caused by an infection. Since cancer is not an infection, but an unregulated cell growth, it is impossible to get cancer from a person with cancer.

5. Breast cancer also occurs in men.

TRUTH . Since the man also has breast tissue, cancer can also develop in the male breast. However, the risk is much lower than that of women, since men have fewer and less developed structures.

Thus, whenever a man identifies a lump in the breast, it is very important that he also consult a mastologist, to assess whether it may, in fact, be cancer and start the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Understand better why male breast cancer happens and what the symptoms are .

6. Breast cancer can be cured.

TRUTH . Although it is one of the most common types of cancer, it is also the one with the highest cure rate when it is identified early, reaching 95%. When it is identified later, the chances drop to 50%.

In addition, when identified early, treatment is also less aggressive, since cancer is more localized. Check out the main ways of treating breast cancer .

7. Deodorant can cause breast cancer.

MYTH . Antiperspirant deodorants do not increase the risk of developing breast cancer, as there are no studies that confirm that the substances used to produce these products cause cancer, unlike other proven factors, such as obesity or a sedentary lifestyle.

8. It is possible to prevent cancer.

TRUTH / MYTH . There is no formula capable of preventing the onset of cancer, but there are some habits that reduce the risk, such as having a healthy and varied diet, with many vegetables and few industrialized ones, avoiding very polluted places, exercising regularly and avoiding smoking and alcohol .

Thus, it is recommended to always be aware of any early sign of breast cancer, to go to the mastologist and identify the cancer at an early stage, improving the chances of cure.

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