Breast cancer is a devastating disease. According to the American Cancer Society, estimates for breast cancer in women in the United States for 2015 are:
Around 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer.
Around 62,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS; which is a non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer) of the breast will be found.
Around 40,290 deaths have been recorded due to breast cancer
With such alarming numbers it is natural to wonder what causes such a disease. And while there have been no known causes, numerous speculations i.e. myths have filtered in and around breast cancer. Myths that are simply not true. Below are the five most common ‘causes’ of breast cancer:
- First myth is underarm deodorant. This theory has a long history as a cause for breast cancer. Since most underarm deodorants have parabens, which are chemical preservatives, in the antiperspirant are then absorbed through freshly shaved areas under the armpits. Then these chemicals gather in the lymph nodes, are rendered toxic, and cause breast cancer. Yet according to multiple studies there is no empirical evidence that supports the claim deodorants or other antiperspirants actually cause breast cancer.
- The second myth is breast injury. This popular myth began because of several traumatic injuries to the breast which have then caused false-positive mammogram readings, as scar tissue can appear as a tumor on an X-ray. However, the reality of the situation is yes, while a strike to the breast can be painful its swelling, and result of scar tissue, which may feel like a lump, does not induce breast cancer, but is instead a physical injury and is to be treated as such.
- This third myth comes in the form of abortion. This myth stems more from a social light than it does a medical one as various pro-life groups have purported this myth to discourage women from undergoing abortion. That is why the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently conducted a meta-analysis of fifteen separate studies involving abortion and breast cancer, stretching through April 2014. They concluded that none of these separate studies show any correlation from abortion to breast cancer.
- The fourth myth comes from wearing a bra, mostly one that has an underwire. It is presumed that underwire bras can obstruct lymph fluid from exiting the breast, building up toxin and consequently leading to breast cancer. Yet no aspect of wearing a bra whether sports or underwire, duration of being worn, cup-size, or age has any association with contracting breast cancer.
- The fifth myth is the perception of breast implants. While true breast implants make it harder to detect breast cancer due to their ability to hide cancerous tissue to appear on a mammogram, there’s no evidence that suggest implants themselves are the cause for breast cancer.
Therefore, you may be wondering what exactly causes breast cancer if not these five myths listed above. As opposed to genetic risk, growing older, and other risk factors you don’t exercise control over; these factors of breast cancer causation are things you can control such as:
- Alcohol consumption
- Being overweight post menopause
- Taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at more than a minimal dose for over two years
Making the right decisions leads to a longer, healthier life; and that starts by paying attention to what goes into your body. If you are suffering from breast cancer, seek a second opinion today from our expert Board Certified doctors at the comfort of your home.