5 Popular Myths About Breast Cancer Debunked
This year has been hard. If not for all, for most of us. However, for people that have been indirectly affected by breast cancer, on top of all the things that are happening in the world today, their fight still continues against this enemy. Breast Cancer.
With that in mind, it is important that support is shown in any way that is possible. Whether it is by donating money, time or effort, it can all make a huge difference in someone's life. For this reason, it is also important that the right information is distributed in order for people, especially those not affected by breast cancer, to be as knowledgeable as they can about this disease.
With that said, here are 5 popular myths about breast cancer debunked.
Myth # 1- Only Women Can Get Breast Cancer
I know. This is a very surprising fact, but men can get breast cancer too. Although men do not have breasts, they do have breast tissues and as such are at risk of getting breast cancer. Even though this occurrence is admittedly very rare, it does happen. And it has happened. Moreover, the sad part of it is that men aren't generally diagnosed with breast cancer until it has dramatically progressed. One reason for this could be that men, even if they do feel or notice a difference in their chest, they usually don't think about the possibility of breast cancer. Not surprisingly, neither do some doctors as they too believe in this myth.
Therefore, men too are encouraged to take note of their chest as abnormalities can also be found. And with early detection, there is a greater possibility that the disease can be beaten.
Myth # 2- Young Women Do Not Get Breast Cancer
While it is true that the highest percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer are 50 years or older, women 40 years and younger are still at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Therefore, women are always encouraged to practice self-checks on a regular basis in order to ensure that if there is anything found that is concerning, it can quickly be reported to a doctor. This will ensure that if there is in fact cancer, it is detected early.
Additionally, if it is that your family's background shows a common history of women being diagnosed with cancer at 40 or younger, it is highly encouraged that screening begins at an early age.
Myth # 3- A Lump is the Very First Tell-Tale Sign of Breast Cancer
Checkups are highly encouraged for this fact that a lump is NOT always formed as a result of breast cancer. This is especially true if someone is in the early stage of breast cancer as lumps don't always form very early. Therefore, women, and men, are encouraged to do regular checkups, including mammograms to be sure that there is no cancer, and if there is, that it is detected early. In other words, don't just rely on self-checks as a way of determining whether or not you have breast cancer. DO regular checkups so that you can be absolutely sure.
Myth # 4- There is Only One Type of Breast Cancer
There are in fact many different types of breast cancers and each one is treated accordingly. To begin with, There are two major categories. That is, breast cancer can either be considered as invasive or non-invasive.
Invasive breast cancers refer to cancers where cancer cells found in the milk ducts escape into tissues that may be nearby. On the other hand, non-invasive breast cancers refer to those cancers where the cancer cells remain within the milk ducts. In other words, it does not 'escape' into any other normal body tissue, whether near the breast or otherwise.
Other than those two major categories, there are several other types of breast cancers that fall under each. In addition to this, the treatment for each type of breast cancer is dependent on a few things. For instance, 1. The stage and the location of the cancer cells found 2. The patient themself or 3. Whether or not the diagnosis is linked to the patient's heritage. Of course, there are other factors that determine the type of treatment a breast cancer patient receives, however, these are also very important.
Myth # 5- Heritage is the Only Factor that Can Determine if Someone will get Breast Cancer or Not
Heritage is NOT the only factor to determine if someone is likely to get breast cancer or not. Even if breast cancer was never apart of someone's lineage, that doesn't mean that they are exempted from the possibility of getting breast cancer. Ageing, being a woman and having breast tissues are the biggest risk factors in determining whether or not someone has the possibility of getting breast cancer.
However, that isn't to say that having breast cancer as a part of one's lineage isn't a big risk factor in itself, because it is. In fact, if this is the case, it is highly encouraged for screening and testing to begin early. Preferably before 30.
Additionally, although eating healthy can play a role in the possibility of preventing breast cancer, it cannot, in and of itself, entirely prevent someone from getting breast cancer. Therefore, although it is very important that people eat healthily, it is also just as equally important that regular screenings and tests are conducted by a professional.
How do we show support?
Support has many faces. However, one of the most important ways is to become increasingly aware and knowledgeable about breast cancer. It's important that we continue to learn as much as we can, even if the direct impact of breast cancer was not felt. By learning more about breast cancer, you'll also inevitably learn more about how it can possibly be prevented as well as how one can try to remain healthy and happy if living with this disease.
If you have been directly affected by this disease. as @tabithabrown once said, sometimes speaking positivity over yourself can be one of the most important things that can help you to pull through. It's also important that your research never stops as you can never have enough information.
I can only imagine how hard your battle is or has been, but never, never give up!