Dr. Marisa Weiss talks about the most common breast cancer myths, like its inherited traits or risk factors.
Read the full transcript »
Hi, I'm Doctor Marisa Weiss, president and founder of breastcancer.org. I'm also a practicing oncologist, and mom, and also a breast cancer survivor. So I'm happy to share information with you today that could help protect your life against breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness: Common Breast Cancer Myths: One of the most common myths is that breast cancer is always due to a family history or an inherited gene, when the truth is that most women who get breast cancer have no family history and have no inherited gene that made them more prone to developing the disease. Only about ten percent of women who get breast cancer have a strong family history or a gene abnormality that may be running through the family. Another myth about breast cancer is that it only tracks through the mother's side of the family when in fact breast cancer genes, if they're out there, are equally inherited from the mother's side or from the father's side. There's another myth out there about genes. I've heard people say that the genes skip generations. When it comes to breast cancer and the genes that may make a woman more prone to developing breast cancer it can occur with each generation. It does not skip a generation. There are a lot of myths about wearing bras and a higher risk of breast cancer. And just so you know there is no evidence that wearing a bra, an underwire bra, a bra at night increases your risk of breast cancer. A common myth about breast cancer says that antiperspirant use increases the risk of breast cancer. While we don't actually have any evidence to support that, it is important to know what goes on you, goes in you and so the personal care products that you use in your everyday life, antiperspirants, moisturizers, sunscreens, perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, makeup, all of that stuff that you put on you can be absorbed by the body and can get into your circulation and into your breast tissue. And maybe even affect how your breast tissue is built and how it's run on a daily basis. Another myth about breast cancer is if you get bumped or if you get touched by somebody, maybe in a sexual way, that that increases your risk of breast cancer. When there is actually no proving connection between getting bumped in the breast area or being touched or it having it be part of your love life, private or public, there is no connection between those activities and those things in your life and a higher risk of breast cancer. Another myth that is common out there is that mammography, which is important in an early detection, can also help you reduce your risk of breast cancer. And many people that I take care of are shocked when they get a diagnosis because they say "I can't understand how this can happened to me because I've been getting my mammograms every year". It's important to know that mammograms are really important, they're the most powerful tool that we have to give women the benefit of early detection but mammograms themselves do not help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Many people fear that a breast cancer diagnosis is a death sentence. The good news is that most women survive breast cancer and even those who are living with or dealing with recurrence of metastatic disease can still live a very long time with a high quality of life. Stay in the know and replace those myths with the real facts.