It is perfectly fine if you don't feel all that well versed in the world of breast cancer, because there is a ton of information out there, and it seems like it's always changing. It's tough to parse all the research, tips, guidelines, and statistics to figure out exactly what it means for you and your body.
Luckily, there are a few easy ways to determine your breast cancer risk, so you can make informed decisions about your lifestyle and general health. One easy way to figure it out? Take an online quiz. Through a series of questions about your family history and lifestyle factors (like when you got your first period and how much alcohol you drink), you can get a better grasp on what you actually need to worry about when it comes to breast cancer.
For everything else, you should talk to your primary care physician or Ob/Gyn, says Sarah Cate, MD, a breast surgeon at Mount Sinai Downtown Chelsea Center in New York City. There is no such thing as a stupid question, and it's easy to get sucked into an online rabbit hole and come out convinced that you have cancer — and doctors understand that. "People come in with a lot of misconceptions, and there are some fairly common ones I hear over and over again," Dr. Cate says.
Given that there's an overload of information swirling, we asked three doctors who specialize in breast cancer to break down the biggest breast cancer myths and misconceptions that patients are mixed up about. Here's what you need to know, according to Dr. Cate, Deborah Lindner, MD, FACOG, a gynecologist and chief medical officer at Bright Pink, and Elisa Port, MD, FACS, Breast Cancer Research Foundation investigator and chief of breast surgery and director of the Dubin Breast Center, Mount Sinai Hospital.