25 Breast Cancer Myths and Misunderstandings (Nos. 1-5)

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Corbis1. Myth: Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.

Reality: Roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors for the disease. But the family-history risks are these: If a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling, or child) has had or has breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease approximately doubles. Having two first-degree relatives with the disease increases your risk even more.

2. Myth: Wearing an underwire bra increases your risk of getting breast cancer.

bra-underwire-xray bra-underwire-xray , ultrasound, or biopsy to determine whether a lump is cancerous.

4. Myth: Exposing a tumor to air during surgery causes cancer to spread.

Reality: Surgery doesn't cause breast cancer and it doesn't cause breast cancer to spread, as far as scientists can tell from the research so far. Your doctor may find out during surgery that your cancer is more widespread than previously thought, however. And some animal studies have shown that removing the primary tumor sometimes enables metastatic cancers to grow, but only temporarily; this has not been demonstrated in humans.

pamela-anderson-breast pamela-anderson-breast , according to research. Standard mammograms don't always work as well on these women, however, so additional X-rays are sometimes needed to more fully examine breast tissue.

Read Myths 6–10