Myths & Facts

Myth: “I am only 35. Breast cancer happens only in older women.”—- Fact: Even though breast cancer increases with age, all women are at risk of getting breast cancer.

Myth: “Only women with a family history of breast cancer get breast cancer.”— Fact: Most women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. However, a woman whose mother, sister or daughter had breast cancer has an increased risk. Also, having a male relative with breast cancer also increases risk.

Myth: “If I don’t have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, I won’t get breast cancer.”— Fact: Most women do not have these gene mutations. Only 5 to 10% of breast cancer cases in the U.S. are due to an inherited gene mutation.

Myth: “Women with more than one risk factor will get breast cancer.”— Fact: Most people diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors except being a woman and getting older. All women are at risk.

Myth: “You can prevent breast cancer.”— Fact: Because there is known cause or causes of breast cancer, there is no way to prevent it. Making healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of breast cancer. For women at a high risk of breast cancer, certain drugs or surgery can reduce risk.

Myth: “If I had a mammogram every year, I would be exposed to too much radiation, and that would cause cancer.”— Fact: The level of radiation from mammograms is very small and has little impact on breast cancer risk. Studies show the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks, especially for women 50 and older.

Myth: “Wearing deodorant increases my risk of  getting breast cancer.” — Fact: Studies have found no link between wearing deodorant and breast cancer risk.