Part I: You’re BUSTED! Breast cancer myths exposed, or are they really myths?

Breast Cancer Aware 2

Written by: Stacy Hammack, Senior Mammography Technologist, RT (R)(M) at Ripon Medical Center

Am I going to get breast cancer if I wear deodorant or shave my underarms?

Fact: There have been several studies done looking at the link between breast cancer and deodorants/antiperspirants and shaving your underarms. The American Cancer Society really pooh-poohs this rumor! There is so little scientific evidence to support this idea. Some antiperspirants contain parabens, but so far, studies have not shown any direct link between parabens and any health concerns. However, researchers continue to look at this possible breast cancer risk factor, and more studies are needed.

What about if my bra is too tight, or not tight enough or has an under wire, that increases the risk of breast cancer, right?

Fact: There really is not any good scientific or clinical basis making a connection to neither the type of bra or tightness of the bra and the risk of breast cancer.

Holy cow! I live near power lines! I talk on my cell phone all the time! I am for sure going to get breast cancer!

Fact: A 2003 study concluded that there was not a definite connection made between breast cancer and electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines. This research is still on going with the potential environmental risk factor of cancer and electromagnetic fields. However, in 2011 the International Research on Cancer did suggest that radiofrequency fields from cell phones causing cancer cannot be confirmed yet; more research must be done. Again, there is no conclusive link between cell phone use and increase in the risk of breast cancer. Suggestions were made by the American Cancer Society to not carry your cell phone in your bra and to use a headset/ear piece and to limit the amount of time you use your cell phone.

Could my miscarriage or abortion increase my risk of breast cancer?

Fact: Numerous studies have been done researching and studying the correlation between abortions, miscarriages and breast cancer. A particular study done in February of 2003 by the national Cancer Institute concluded that having an abortion or a miscarriage does not increase your risk of breast cancer.

About Agnesian HealthCare Womens Health

Addressing the physical, emotional and educational needs of women, Agnesian HealthCare's Women's Health Services offers the resources that apply to your life, in all its wonderful complexity. With a Health Resource Center, Obstetric Services, a Domestic Violence Program, Behavioral Health Services and programs serving women in mid-life, a number of options are available in the Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun areas.

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