Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among Indian women, with a rate of 25.8 per 100,000 women and a mortality rate of 12.7 per 100,000 women.
Not only the numbers are increasing each day but also the myths and doubts about breast cancer. It is recommended to do a breast self-examination monthly in about 3 to 5 days after the period starts.
When you feel a lump in your breast or you experience any breast cancer symptoms, it’s understandable to be concerned. But don’t panic and jump to conclusions. Instead, act wisely and call your doctor to discuss.
Myths About Breast Cancer
Always make sure you are away from these popular 7 myths of breast cancer and know the facts.
Myth No. 1: A breast lump Is certainly cancer
Eight out of ten breast lumps felt by women aren’t cancer. A cyst (a sac) or a fibroadenoma (an abnormal growth that isn’t cancer) are the most common types. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, some lumps appear and disappear.
It’s impossible to tell what it is based on how it feels. You should consult a doctor to know in detail about the lump.
Myth No. 2: A single test can confirm breast cancer
More tests, such as an MRI, ultrasound, or a follow-up mammogram, may be required to examine the lump again.
A biopsy, in which a doctor takes a small sample of the lump to test it, may also be required. Regular examination is the ultimate key to detecting/preventing breast cancer.
Myth No. 3: Breast cancer lumps are always painless
Certainly not. Breast cancer isn’t always painful, and having breast pain doesn’t rule out the possibility of cancer.
When there is a lump, inflammatory breast cancer symptoms such as redness, swelling, tenderness, and warmth in the breast, can be painful.
Myth No. 4: You can’t have cancer if you find a lump while breastfeeding
Breastfeeding reduces your chances of getting breast cancer, but it can still happen. Don’t ignore a lump if you notice it while breastfeeding. Always discuss with your doctor and go for a suggestive diagnostic test.
Myth No. 5: A breast lump can’t be cancer if you’re young
That is not the case. Breast lumps should be self-examined every month as mentioned earlier about 3-5 days after the period starts at any age.
Even though the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are past menopause or over the age of 50 years, stats are rapidly changing and a lump in the breast can be cancerous in a younger woman too.
Myth No. 6: A smaller size of the lump is less likely to be cancerous than a larger size lump
This is certainly not true. Breast lumps irrespective of the size should be discussed with the oncologist or the gynaecologist and should be considered for suggestive diagnostic tests.
At times, small lumps may progress to aggressive cancers and shouldn’t be ignored.
Myth No, 7: If you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, a lump is probably harmless
If no one in their family has had breast cancer, many women believe they aren’t at risk. That is not the case. According to the American Cancer Society, only about 15% of women with breast cancer have a relative who has had the disease.
Whether or not breast cancer runs in your family, have all lumps examined by a doctor.