Be wary of breast cancer myths

Posted at: 02/28/2014 3:42 PM
By: Lovelace Health System

Breast cancer is often the subject of many myths. Just as important as getting the word out is making sure that the information we do spread is accurate. Knowing the truth could save a life. Here are some common myths about breast cancer. 

One common myth is that young women do not get breast cancer. The truth is that breast cancer can occur at any age. While it’s true that breast cancer risk increases with age, one out of every 2,212 breast cancer diagnoses made this year will be in a 30-year-old woman.

Another myth: No history of breast cancer in your family means you never have to worry about having it. The truth: All women are at risk. About 76 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer last year had no family history of the disease. 

Finally, one dangerous myth is that the only way to detect breast cancer is to discover a lump in the breast. The truth is, some cancers don’t form lumps. Other warning signs you can watch for include:

• Discharge from one breast

• Dimpling—a pulling in of the breast skin 

• Bulge—area of raised tissues on one breast

• Itching, irritated or scaly nipple with or without discharge  

• Rapidly increasing pain with redness or rash 

• Rapid increase in size of one breast 

• Changes in the shape of a breast 

• Change in vein patterns on one breast

Lovelace Women’s Hospital Breast Care Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for providing the highest level of quality care to its patients. Our team of breast health professionals will help you assess your risk of developing breast cancer, guide you through mammograms and clinical exams and teach you the proper method of breast self-examination. We also offer counseling, education and support programs. For more information or to schedule a clinical breast exam or mammogram, call 505.727.6700 or visit