Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer. Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.  But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam/ annual mammogram.

Myth:

Men Do Not Get Breast Cancer; It Affects Women Only

Fact:

Each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 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.  Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less

Myth:

A Mammogram Can Cause Breast Cancer To Spread.

Fact:

A Full field digital mammogram 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. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low. The standard recommendation is an annual mammographic screening for women beginning at age 40.

Myth:

If You Have A Family History Of Breast Cancer, You Are Likely To Develop Breast Cancer, Too.

Fact:

While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. Statistically only about 5% of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.  Risk increases If you have a first degree relative, second degree relative or multiple generations on the same side of the family with breast cancer.

Myth:

Breast Cancer Is Hereditary

Fact:

If the gene mutation BRCA1 or BRCA2 is detected in your DNA, you will develop breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, regarding families who are known to carry BRCA1 or BRCA2, “not every woman in such families carries a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, and not every cancer in such families is linked to a harmful mutation in one of these genes. Furthermore, not every woman who has a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation will develop breast and/or ovarian cancer. But, a woman who has inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 is about five times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who does not have such a mutation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dr Rajasundaram- Director, Institute of Oncology, Gleneagles Global Health City, Perumbakkam, Chennai.