NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It turns out a lot of what women believe about breast cancer turns out to be a myth.

CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez debunks some of the most common breast cancer myths.

Let’s start out with one that fortunately is no longer a myth: That mammography isn’t very good at finding breast cancer.

It’s not perfect but 3D and digital technology have improved mammography’s status as the gold standard for breast cancer detection.

A myth that hasn’t gone away is that breast cancer always shows up as a lump.

“Breast cancer can show up as nipple discharge,” said Dr. Elsia Port, the director of the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai. “It can show up as inversion of the nipple or dimpling of the skin. It can show up as a rash on the breast, changes of the skin on the breast.”

Port said another persistent myth is that wire bras or deodorant can increase your risk of breast cancer

She told CBS23 that numerous studies have found no correlation between bras and breast cancer, or between deodorants and breast cancer risk.

Then there’s the myth that breast cancer only happens to older women.

“About 75% of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50 or post-menopausally,” said Port. “But absolutely it can happen in any age group and that’s why it’s important for women of all ages that breast cancer can happen.”

Finally, you don’t need regular mammograms if you lead a healthy lifestyle or don’t have a family history of breast cancer. Unfortunately, neither of those will fully protect you from breast cancer.

“90% of women who get breast cancer have no real specific identifiable risk factor and no family history, and that’s a huge myth,” said port.

There’s one more myth and that is that all breast cancers are the same.

We now know that breast cancer is at least a dozen different diseases, probably more, and they each require a different personalized treatment plan.


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