1. Rumor: Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women.
Fact: It’s certainly no friend to women, but it’s not the biggest killer. Heart disease has that unfortunate title, “and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined,” according to the American Heart Association. In fact, breast cancer comes in sixth behind heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s.
In this infographic that illustrates Where We Donate vs. Disease That Kill Us, breast cancer is at the top of the heap, pulling in some four times as many funds as heart disease.
2. Rumor: Underwires / tight clothing cause breast cancer.
Fact: This isn’t true at all. BreastCancer.org affirms that “Underwire bras do not cause breast cancer,” and that “There is no scientific evidence to support…this rumor.” It’s thought that the compression from a bra’s underwire, or even tight bras and clothing, don’t allow the lymph nodes to “breathe” which can lead to toxins and cause cancer, but it just isn’t the case.
3. Rumor: Small breasts can’t get cancer.
Fact: Cancer doesn’t discriminate, not even against smaller breasts. While obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer, and those overweight women tend to have larger breasts, the correlation does not exist that the less chest you have the less cancer you’ll have.
4. Rumor: Mammograms don’t save lives.
Fact: The truth is, early detection in all its forms — self breast exams, clinical breast exam, mammogram, ultrasound and CT — is the first line of defense. The earlier a cancer is caught, the more options and better outlook the patient has. Last year a controversial study published in the British Medical Journal found that mammograms may do more harm than good. The medical community, almost at large, is refuting and even calling for additional research before current recommendations and standards for mammographies change.
5. Rumor: You can prevent breast cancer.
Fact: Ultimately, no. There’s a lot you can do reduce your risk — largely through healthy lifestyle — but breast cancer is a mean ‘ole bit… witch… who backs down for no one. Health.com cites that “70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors, meaning that the disease occurs largely by chance and according to as-yet-unexplained factors.”