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Debunking common myths about breast cancer

According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the most common cancer overall. So it’s no wonder that millions of women around the world are anxious about breast cancer and want to arm themselves with knowledge on breast cancer prevention and detection. But with so much information out there, it’s not always easy to distinguish between facts and fiction. 

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In this Pacific Prime article, we’ll debunk some common myths about breast cancer. 

Many women believe that using birth control pills will increase their risk of developing breast cancer because birth control pills contain specific hormones. However, a Harvard Medical School study in 2020 debunked this belief. But this doesn’t necessarily provide an all clear for the use of birth control pills and you should discuss your situation with a GP.

“Overall risk is very small and older women who used hormonal contraceptives many years ago aren’t likely to have a higher risk.”

Diet doesn’t seem to matter, but it’s best to stick to a balanced one

While only a few studies have found a possible link between eating fatty foods and developing breast cancer, and further research needs to be conducted to conclusively link the two together, there’s no harm in keeping healthy by sticking to a balanced diet. Make sure you’re getting all food groups, and consider speaking with a dietician to get personalized recommendations. 

Antiperspirants likewise doesn’t appear to be a risk factor

Antiperspirants like deodorants have been said to prevent the body from releasing toxins through sweat from the armpits, which will eventually lead to lymph nodes below the arm and breast cancer. But these claims aren’t backed by science as the body doesn’t release toxins through underarm sweat. 

You can also safely wear your underwire bras

Do you swap your underwire bras for non-underwire ones? If the reason is to prevent breast cancer then you’ll be glad to know that no studies have found a link between underwire bras and breast cancer. This belief was made popular by a book in 1995, inaccurately suggesting that underwire bras constrict the body’s lymph node system and cause breast cancer. 

Injury of the breast doesn’t cause breast cancer

The majority of breast injuries aren’t something to worry about, though some cases may result in a bruised breast and, in even rarer cases, may lead to a noncancerous lump called fat necrosis – the symptoms of which usually subside within a month. Nevertheless, any lumps or unusual change in your breast should be consulted with your GP. 

Fibrocystic breasts can make breast cancer detection harder, but they’re not a risk factor

About half of women will have fibrocystic breast conditions at some point in their lives. The good news is that these are common and non-cancerous, and don’t increase your risk for developing breast cancer. The only thing to note is that fibrocystic breasts can make breast cancer detection using standard imaging and exam techniques more difficult, but not impossible.

Anyone, anywhere can get breast cancer

Granted, older women and those with a family history of breast cancer are at higher risk. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll be spared if you don’t fall under the aforementioned categories. Women over the age of 20 should consider having breast self-exams, while those over 40 are also recommended to have an annual mammogram

A mammogram is a must 

Some women avoid going for a mammogram, fearing that this will cause breast cancer. It’s fair to say that this is far from the truth. Mammograms are an excellent way to detect breast cancer, and involve low level of radiation that’s determined to be safe by the American College of Radiology. 

Get in touch with Pacific Prime today!

Are you looking to consult a GP about your risk factors? Or go for an annual mammogram as per recommendations? Perhaps you’re concerned about getting breast cancer? In these cases and more, it’s a good idea to have a comprehensive health insurance plan in place. Not only will you be able to access the best healthcare services and practitioners, but you’ll also get peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re covered no matter what happens. 

As a global health insurance brokerage, with over two decades of industry experience, Pacific Prime can help you find the right health insurance plan for your needs and budget. We’ve got expert and impartial advisors on hand who’ll provide you with tailored plan comparison and quotes from vetted insurers, as well as heaps of support and assistance throughout your insurance journey. 

Contact us to get started today!

Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral