Bust the breast cancer myths

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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.

Myths

  • 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

 

Research:

  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