The Jakarta Post
Fatigue is one of the side-effects of breast cancer treatment, but not of breast cancer itself. (Shutterstock/File)
Despite the progress in research, there are still myths about breast cancer, its dangers and how to detect it.
Some of these compiled by Reader's Digest include:
True: You can reduce your personal risk of developing breast cancer
Certain cancers cannot be avoided and in the case of breast cancer, these factors include your age and being female. However, there are several lifestyle adjustments that you can make in order to reduce personal risks such as not drinking alcohol and smoking as well other habits such as taking the pill.
False: Feeling tired, lethargic, less motivated and less energetic are signs that you might have breast cancer
Fatigue is one of the side-effects of breast cancer treatment, but not of breast cancer itself. Actual signs of breast cancer can be spotted if you observe your breasts and note any alarming changes. Redness or a rash on the skin, breast-pain, liquid secretion from the nipple, strange lumps or changes in breast shape or size are actual signs to look out for.
True: Changes in breasts are common and most are nothing to worry about
Cysts may be alarming to some women, especially when found around the breast area, however, benign cysts are common as women age. Though cysts can cause breast pain, that alone is not a sure sign of breast cancer. Other changes such as the shortening and re-widening of milk ducts in the breasts; which can cause water or blood-stained discharges, a lump behind the nipple and accompanying pain or soreness is not a sign of breast cancer. In any case, changes should be seen by a doctor.
False: Breast cancer kills the most women
Though breast cancer is deadly, other diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, heart disease, strokes, flu and pneumonia and chronic lower respiratory disease kill more women.
False: There is only one way to check for breast cancer
It is actually more important to observe your breasts often to note if there are any changes. If anything seems out of the ordinary, it is a better indicator than using a certain technique to check for lumps, as lumps are not always cancerous. Check by feeling from your breasts, to your armpits and up to your collarbone is the easiest way to observe any changes you might not recognize. Always consult your doctor if you find anything that might concern you. (acr/kes)