Henrico Doctors' Hospital August 21, 2018

  1. If I am diagnosed with breast cancer, I will lose my breasts.
    • Not all diagnoses lead to a mastectomy, or the removal of the entire breast. Everyone’s treatment journey is different. It is important to consult your physician to fully understand all of your options. To learn more about treatment options and the difference between a lumpectomy and mastectomy, click here.

  2. I don’t need to perform breast self-exams, or BSEs, if I get an annual mammogram
    • Most physicians agree that self-exams are a valuable addition to an annual mammogram. The more familiar you are with your breasts, the more likely you are to recognize changes earlier.   

  3. If someone in my family had breast cancer, I will get it too. 
    • Some forms of breast cancer, but not all, are linked to a genetic mutation (like BRCA 1 and BRCA 2).  People who carry this gene may have a higher risk to develop cancer. If one or more of your first-degree relatives (your sister and your mother for example) had breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor might recommend more frequent screenings outside of your annual mammogram. 

  4. Only women can get breast cancer.
    • Breast cancer is more common in women but, The American Cancer Society predicts 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.   

  5. Once treatment begins, I will no longer be able to have children.
    • Fertility post-treatment varies depending on many factors such as age, type of treatment, and the location of your cancer. Before receiving treatment, a patient might want to look into fertility preservation if they plan on starting or adding to their family in the future. 

  6. There's only one type of breast cancer.
    • There are more than a dozen types of breast cancer. Common kinds are carcinomas, tumors that grow in organs and tissues. Most breast cancers are a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma that starts in the milk ducts or milk-producing glands. But, there are other kinds of breast cancer that start in the cells of muscle, fat or connective tissue. Visit cancer.org for more information on types and treatments of breast cancer. 

Source: Breast Cancer Myths Debunked