Research vs. Rumor: Busting the Top Breast Cancer Myths
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and despite all the awareness, there’s still a lot of misinformation out there. Millennium Physician Group Director of the Center for Breast Health and Breast Surgeon Natalia Spinelli Partain explains every year, there’s more research and rumors about who’s really at risk for the disease. She’s busting the top mammary myths.
Myth: You have to have a family history of breast cancer to be at risk.
“One of the biggest myths I hear all the time is that if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer you will not get breast cancer,” reveals Dr. Spinelli Partain. “And that’s a myth. Most breast cancer is not a genetic mutation or something that you’ve gotten from your mom or your dad. Ninety percent of the time, breast cancer is due to just environment and lifestyle. So the biggest risk factor for breast cancer development is being a woman, getting older, having breasts, stuff that we cannot control.”
Myth: Deodorant causes breast cancer.
“A lot of women think that deodorant or antiperspirant is associated with a risk of breast cancer development,” says Dr. Spinelli Partain. “I think the theory behind that comes from the belief that aluminum can get absorbed into the lymph nodes underneath our armpit, and that leads to increased breast cancer development. The truth is, this has never been proven, and using deodorant has been proven to be safe.”
Myth: Underwire bras cause breast cancer.
“A lot of women believe that wearing an underwire bra can increase the risk of breast cancer. The good news is, there is no evidence or credible sources that say that wearing underwire bras can increase breast cancer risk. So that is a myth. So girls, wear your supportive bras.”
Fact: Mammograms save lives.
“Definitely not a myth, but a fact is that mammograms save lives,” emphasizes Dr. Spinelli Partain. “They do this by detecting cancer very early stage. So women, get your mammograms.”
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