Though breast cancer is a topic much-discussed upon, the common conceptions around this harbour a lot that is mythical and fictional. In this curt outline, armed with the scientific opinions of the stalwart breast cancer surgeons in Kolkata, we will debunk a few of these breast cancer myths.
The Five Most Common Breast Cancer Myths
Breast cancer is a subject widely speculated upon. A majority of these speculations are fictional riff-raffs lacking any scientific ground whatsoever. Below are such five most common myths and their true counterparts:
Myth 1. Breast cancer is completely curable by chemotherapy
This is yet another conception of bad faith. Chemotherapy could constitute a small fraction of the entire treatment of a breast cancer case. However, breast cancer surgery is the most definitive and certain way to excise and remove the malignancy. The surgery could be performed while conserving the shape and sensations of the breast. Often, some breast cancer surgeons devise treatments that combine surgery with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. But to call a spade a spade, chemotherapy could not be the sole treatment of breast cancer and must rather be accompanied by breast cancer surgery.
Myth 2. If I don’t have a prior family history of breast cancer, I won’t get it
Many people assume breast cancer to be an inherited disease. Well, a prior family history of breast cancer is certainly an important risk factor, but neither the necessary nor the sufficient condition for someone to fall prey to it. Among the vast numbers of breast cancer affected, only a few, i.e. 5-10% of breast cancer, are believed to be hereditary. The facts imply that there is more than one determining risk factor for breast cancer, and family history is just one among them.
Myth 3. Using underarm antiperspirant can cause breast cancer
It is yet another stubborn rumour that using antiperspirants can cause breast cancer. There is no medical evidence for this claim. No connection has been hitherto found between breast cancer and antiperspirant. However, some studies have found that women, who use aluminium products under their arms, might amass a higher concentration of aluminium in their breast tissues. But no such link between aluminium and cancer has been found.
Myth 4. Consuming too much sugar can cause breast cancer
This is a prevalent rumour, applicable to all kinds of cancer, not just breast cancer. It is naively thought that sugar can feed cancer and escalate cell growth. According to breast cancer surgeons, any cell, whether cancerous or not, uses the sugar in the blood as fuel. There is no palpable evidence that excessive sugar consumption (while it may entail other health risks) can lead to cancer.
Myth 5. Breast cancer always causes a tangible lump
The folk belief surrounding breast cancer assumes that it always causes a lump you can feel. However, not all breast cancers cause a lump. And by the time it does, the cancer might have already moved beyond the breast and into the lymph nodes. Hence, if you wait for a lump to appear, you may miss the critical opportunity of early screening and diagnosis, which is so pivotal for a favourable prognosis in any cancer treatment. In other words, this misconception could cost your dear life.
To summarise, don’t give ears to the rumours. If you have suspicions of harbouring breast cancer, you should immediately consult the expert breast cancer surgeon in Kolkata and undergo screening under their guidance.