Bust the breast cancer myths

19,371 women are estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2019. This is equal to approximately 53 diagnoses each day (Cancer Australia, 2019).

October 1 is the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Retail Pharmacy Assistants magazine has explored and busted the myths that surround breast cancer.


  • Drinking milk (or dairy) causes breast cancer: early studies raised concerns about whether drinking milk from cows combined with hormones can raise risk of breast cancer. Later studies have failed to find a clear link (American Cancer Society, 2018).
  • Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer: only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. However, you should still see a physician for a clinical breast exam if you have discovered a persistent lump (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc, 2019).
  • Men do not get breast cancer: each year it is estimated that approximately 2190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die. Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc, 2019).
  • A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread: a mammogram or ex-ray of the breast, currently remains the gold standard for the early detection of breast cancer. Breast compression while getting a mammogram cannot cause cancer to spread (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc, 2019).

For more information on breast cancer and how you can help raise awareness or make a donation, visit: www.bcna.org.au



  1. Breast cancer care wa, 2019. https://www.breastcancer.org.au/about-breast-cancer/statistics.aspx
  2. American Cancer Society, 2018. https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/how-your-diet-may-affect-your-risk-of-breast-cancer.html
  3. National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc, 2019. https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org