The Fact from the Fiction: Breast Cancer – BeYou Online

The Fact from the Fiction: Breast Cancer

One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every ten minutes.

That’s on average 55,000 women in the UK, every year. Talking about breast cancer and its symptoms is what we believe the best way to raise awareness and the best means to catch it early. The earlier someone can be diagnosed, the earlier they can be treated. To help kick start this conversation, we need to separate the fact from the fiction. We’re here to demystify those all too familiar myths about breast cancer.

MYTH: I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, so I can’t get it.

granddaughter, grandmother and mother smiling and hugging

WRONG. In fact, most people who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. According to breastcancer.org, only 5-10% of cancers are actually hereditary. 

Other factors such as work, environment, lifestyle and diet are said to have more profound effects on someone’s chance of developing breast cancer, than whether if a close relative has had it in the past. Doctors also say that the ageing process has a greater effect on a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer. The NHS runs a breast cancer screening scheme for women aged 50+, if you or a relative needs any guidance with obtaining a mammogram. 

MYTH: Bras can give you breast cancer?! 

laughing woman wearing an orange bra

*Sighs*..no, just no. There is NO scientific evidence to suggest wearing a bra increase your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer. 

The reason why the media loves this myth is because of this bogus theory; underwired bras were said to restrict the flow of lymph fluid in the breasts which may cause toxins to build up. However, we promise you, there is not one scrap of reliable evidence to support this theory. It must be said though, your bra shouldn't cause you any serious pain or swelling, so make sure to buy a well-fitted bra. 

MYTH: If you have breast cancer, you always feel a lump. 

Woman lifting her arm up, checking breast for breast cancer lump

    Although lumps are the most well-known of breast cancer symptoms, it isn’t the only sign of breast cancer. A noticeable change in the size, texture, colour of your breasts and/or nipples can also be indicators of breast cancer. That’s why familiarising yourself with what is normal for you is so important, so you notice anything that doesn’t seem right. 

    If you don’t know how to check your boobs, then our little guide should help you get started. 

    MYTH: Only older women are diagnosed with breast cancer. 

    Grandmother and granddaughter laying on grass, laughing together

      Although older women are more likely to develop breast cancer, younger women, men and anyone with breast tissue can get breast cancer. This is why checking your boobs, regularly is so important. According to recent research, about 4% of invasive breast cancers surgeries were performed on women under the age of 40. So start chatting with your friends, sisters and mum to make sure you’re all giving your breasts a check-up and feel comfortable enough to talk to each other if you think there may be something up. 

      MYTH: Abortion/IVF can increase your chances of developing breast cancer. 

        Couple sitting next to a doctor

        Another medical myth we need to dispell. There is no concrete evidence to suggest that either IVF or having abortion increases your risk of breast cancer. 

        For the case of abortion, older research suggested that the change in hormone levels caused by abortion increased a woman’s risk of this type of cancer. However, according to NHS England, there is no substantial evidence to suggest that there is a definite link between the two. 

        In terms of IVF, there is no reliable study to suggest IVF will ‘cause’ breast cancer for any potential mothers receiving the treatment. According to Breast Cancer Now, because IVF is a new treatment, more research needs to be carried out to investigate all the long term health effects are. 

        There are lots of myths surrounding breast cancer, which simply aren’t true, so don’t worry about any of them! Just make sure to regularly check your boobs and if you have any concerns then consult your doctor as soon as you can. 

        Have some more questions about breast cancer? We’re more than happy to answer them as best we can or you can check out the links provided in this blog. Make sure to comment on this blog and share it with all your bosom buddies (pun intended), so you can all have happy and healthy boobs. 

        Meet the Author

        jess simms

        Jess is our Content & Community executive who writes about, well ...everything! She loves talking about period positivity and body positivity and, let's face it, loves a good debate. When she isn't talking about all things BeYou, she has probably got her nose in a book, cuddling her Jack Russell Terrier, Buster 🧚‍♀🐶📖

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