5 Common Breast Cancer Myths We Need To Stop Believing

Cell phones, plastic water bottles, wearing a bra to bed, not wearing a bra, wearing a bra with underwire — all of these things, at one point or another, have been blamed on an increased risk for developing breast cancer. Yet, there's no scientific evidence that any of them actually cause cancer. What the myths do cause, though, is unneeded stress and worry.
So, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (which starts next week), and to help young people better understand how they can protect themselves from breast cancer, breast cancer awareness charity ReThink has launched the #8008135 (aka, #boobies) campaign to bust pervasive myths.
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For anyone who's had a conversation similar to the girls in the video, it's important to know that much of what scientists know determines your risk for breast cancer is out of your control. So you don't have to worry about what type of bra you wear or for how long, and you definitely don't need to stop using your cell phone.
"While it’s important that we all exercise caution around exposure to toxins and known carcinogens in our environment it’s also important that we keep complicated information/issues from being misinterpreted and spread as frightening rumors," the #8008135 website reads.
Their campaign is an attempt to cut those rumors off at the knees, and they've already addressed a few important myths, such as:
"No. The radiofrequency (RF) waves produced by cellphones are non-ionizing, meaning they cannot produce enough energy to directly damage the DNA inside cells."
"No. Using disposable plastic water bottles does not increase a person’s cancer risk. However, reusing plastic water bottles can potentially cause sickness (vomiting or diarrhea) because of germ growth — but not cancer."
"No. There has been no causal link found that ties breast cancer to the use of underwire bras — or any bra!
This myth goes way back. It first appeared in a 1995 book called Dressed to Kill, which claimed that women who wore bras for 12 hours or more a day had a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who didn’t because the bras allowed toxins to build up in their breasts. Dr. Susan Love, argues that myths like this help us to feel in control over areas that are uncertain in our lives. If we convince ourselves that bras cause cancer, then it gives us something to blame and something to avoid."
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"No. Studies have found no link between the consumption of caffeine and an increased breast cancer risk. Rather, some studies have found that caffeine may actually decrease a person’s risk."
"No. Having large breasts or small breasts does not affect your risk for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer develops in the cells that line ducts or lobules. Women of all breast sizes have the same amount of these. A woman’s breasts are large due to the presence of more fatty, or fibrous, tissue — which has little to do with cancer."
Read more about breast cancer myths or ask your burning questions on ReThink's #88008135 website.
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