5 Common Myths About Breast Cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month. This month more than 22,000 people in the U.S. will receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in American women, yet many still have misconceptions about the disease. Let’s separate some common myths from facts.

 

Myth #1: Breast cancer only affects women.

The truth is anyone with breast tissue can develop breast cancer. While men make up less than 1% of breast cancer diagnoses in the U.S., there are still more than 2,000 male breast cancer cases diagnosed yearly in the U.S.

 

Myth #2: If you have the BRCA gene, you are more likely to get cancer.

Everyone has the BRCA genes, which aid in fighting breast cancer. Some have mutated or broken BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 genes, which do not function properly and allow breast cancer cells to develop and take hold, making people with BRCA gene mutations more likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetimes.

 

Myth #3: Breast cancer runs in families, and I don’t have to worry if I don’t have a family history.

While having a family history of breast or ovarian cancers does increase your risk, more than 60% of breast cancer patients have no known risk factors.

 

Myth #4: If I find a lump, it’s probably breast cancer.

It is common for there to be changes in breast tissue with age and hormonal changes. Many types of benign tumors and cysts can develop sporadically. In reality, only 3% to 5% of breast lumps are cancerous.

 

Myth #5: Birth control pills cause breast cancer.

Birth control pills are linked to a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer, which varies according to the type of birth control pills used. This risk is highest among women over the age of 40. This risk stops increasing after a woman stops taking hormonal contraception. Between 5 and 10 years after a woman has stopped taking hormonal contraception, their risk level returns to normal.

 

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Importance Of Early Diagnosis Of Cancer

While a cancer diagnosis can strike fear into the hearts of many, there are now effective treatments for many types of the disease from diagnosis. There is a sizable population of people who have survived cancer, particularly in Western nations like the United States and Europe.

 

Scientific progress in cancer treatment, such as advances in technology, detection/diagnostic equipment, and genetic testing, are credited with a decrease in the death rate among cancer patients. This is because they allow for the early detection of abnormal cells before they can develop into cancerous ones. Let’s look at why early diagnosis of cancer is crucial and what is involved in it.

 

Cancer Screening

The term “screening” describes administering diagnostic procedures to individuals who haven’t yet experienced any cancer symptoms. The goal of cancer screening is to decrease cancer-related health problems and mortality. People worried about getting cancer can benefit from this method, which has gained widespread acceptance.

 

Screening is crucial because it is the first line of defense against illness. Patients for whom cancer is discovered at an early stage have a better chance of being cured, making a full recovery, enjoying an improved quality of life, and living longer than those whose cancer is diagnosed later.

 

Indications That You Should Seek Immediate Medical Help

  • Bleeding or other abnormal bodily discharge, such as excessive leucorrhea
  • The sudden emergence of large, growing bumps or lumps.
  • Chronic injury
  • Disruptions or alterations in the normal bowel and bladder function
  • A persistent cough or hoarse voice
  • Problems eating or losing weight, difficulty swallowing.
  • Specific alterations in the development of a birthmark, mole, or wart.

 

Importance Of Early Detection

Early detection of cancer increases the likelihood of a patient’s survival. However, when cancer is diagnosed, in about half of all cases, it has already spread. If cancer or pre-cancerous change is found early, it can be treated immediately to halt the disease’s progression and lessen its impact. Multiple obstacles must be conquered before widespread cancers can be detected early. Knowing who is at the highest risk of developing cancer is crucial.

 

To pinpoint life-threatening diseases needing treatment, we must also better understand pre-cancer and early cancer biology and course. Research findings need to be developed into early detection technologies with high sensitivity and specificity and then evaluated properly to facilitate their use in clinical practice. It is crucial to work together across disciplines to speed up understanding about early detection and potentially transform patients’ chances of survival.

 

Early Diagnosis of Cancer Can be Life-Saving

Early cancer detection is associated with better treatment outcomes and longer overall survival times. However, half or more of all cancers are diagnosed too late. The survival rate for cancer patients could be significantly improved with better, earlier detection.

 

Although there have been life-saving innovations in early detection in recent years, there is still room for improvement in how cancer is detected early. MyCancerJourney combines high-tech real-world data and artificial intelligence with high-touch patient support resulting in personalized shared decision-making for cancer care. Get in touch with MyCancerJourney via this Online Form, and we will get back to you within the shortest possible time.