As a woman, hearing about your risks of cancer can be pretty scary. But there have been great leaps and bounds in cancer research and many morbid reporting of cancer risk are only applicable to a small percentage. Learning these six  breast cancer rumors can protect your health–and all the women in your life, too!

MYTH: The radiation in mammograms is risky.

FACT: The radiation risk is virtually nil—about what you’d get in two to three months of natural environmental exposure and the screening benefits of mammograms far outweigh any minuscule risks. Most women start at 40, but ask your doctor just in case!

MYTH: Bras and antiperspirants can cause breast cancer.

FACT: Umm, no! The theory behind this is that antiperspirants and the underwire in bras block lymphatic drainage and sweat glands, causing toxins to accumulate. This is totally false in every way. There is no science to support this.

MYTH: Women with fibrocystic breasts are more likely to get breast cancer.

FACT: Peter Pressman, M.D., professor of clinical surgery at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City says: “Fibrocystic breasts can be lumpy, dense and painful, but there is no evidence linking them to cancer. However, if you have them, it’s important to do self-exams so you learn to distinguish between your normal breast tissue and a potentially cancerous lump.”

MYTH: Soy can reduce your risk for breast cancer.

FACT: Well, because soy has a lot of estrogen, too much soy can actually raise your risk for breast cancer. For years, doctors were saying soy was the go-to cure for female problems; research has shown that it actually does the opposite of what was originally thought. Limit your soy intake as much as possible and if you are a vegetarian, try to get your protein from stuff like lentils and egg whites.

MYTH: When breast cancer is detected, it’s always in the form of a lump.

FACT: Nope! “Fortunately, many breast cancers are detected on a mammogram, before a noticeable lump has had time to develop,” says Susan Love, M.D., a breast surgeon in Pacific Palisades, California. Other warning signs include a change in breast symmetry, thickening, swelling, dimpling, nipple discharge and even a rashlike skin inflammation. See your doctor right away if you notice any change in the texture, feeling or tightness of your breasts.

MYTH: If you do find a lump, it’s probably cancerous.

FACT: Lumps are scary but they’re most often not cancer: Four out of five lumps felt in the breast are benign. Harmless lumps can show up anytime, especially before and during your period (thank hormones). If in doubt, go to your doctor as soon as possible! Don’t worry.

[Source: Yahoo! Health]

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