Breast Cancer Myths: 4 Common Misconceptions About Breast Cancer to Test Your Awareness by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP
- Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, so my risk is low. Almost 90 percent of women diagnosed have no family history. Instead, the biggest risk factor is just being a woman, so if you’re approaching 40, get a mammogram.
- I can put off my mammogram for six months. Survival rates for the earliest stages of breast cancer are almost 100 percent. By stage III it’s more like 70 percent. Six months is enough time for a negligible lump to develop into something more severe.
- Breast cancer mostly affects older women. Yes, risk increases with age, but that doesn’t mean younger women don’t need to be concerned. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women ages 15 to 39.
- Breast cancer is the biggest threat to women. Women are more afraid of breast cancer than of any other illness, but heart disease kills more women than all other cancers combined.
With awareness comes power, so understand the risks, meet with your nurse practitioner and together, make a plan to beat the odds.
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