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5 Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

We separate the truth from the lies about breast cancer

BHM Edit Staff | 8/8/2013, 6 a.m.
Don't fall prey to the myths about breast cancer.

Myth 1: You are only at risk of developing breast cancer if you have a family history.

Fact: About 70 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. But if you do have a first-degree relative (mom, sister, child) who has had breast cancer, your risk of contracting the disease doubles.

Myth 2: If air hits a tumor during surgery, it causes the cancer to spread.

Fact: Surgery doesn't cause breast cancer—or any cancer for that matter—to spread.

Myth 3: If you have small breasts, you are immune to getting breast cancer.

Fact: Breast size has absolutely no connection to your risk of breast cancer. But it can be more difficult to examine larger breasts.

Myth 4: Your caffeine habit increases your risk of developing cancer.

Fact: There's no link between caffeine and breast cancer, so you can keep tossing back your morning cup of Joe. However, doctors are still studying the link between caffeine and breast soreness.

Myth 5: Annual mammograms increase your risk because of the radiation exposure.

Fact: There is some exposure to radiation from a mammogram, but it's a very small amount. Experts say the benefits outweigh the risks, and the American Cancer Society still recommends all women age 40 and older have an annual screening mammogram.