Myths & Facts

Posted by admin on May 26, 2013  /   Posted in Blog, Breast Cancer Myths and Facts

Myths & Facts are from RI Quality Partners, Inc.

BREAST CANCER ~ MYTHS & FACTS

FACT:

A mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

MYTH:

Breast cancer can’t happen to me. I don’t have any of the risk factors.

FACT:

  • The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors.
  • Just being a woman and getting older are the two greatest risk factors. Over 75% of breast cancers are found in women aged 50 or older.
  • Other risk factors include: a history of breast cancer in you, your mother, or your sister, first childbirth after age 30, no pregnancies, and drinking more than a glass of alcohol each day.
  • The most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States is breast cancer.

MYTH:

Now that I am over age 50, I no longer have to worry about getting breast cancer.

FACT:

Women don’t outgrow the risk of breast cancer. As women get older, their chance of getting breast cancer actually increases.

MYTH:

No one in my family has been diagnosed with breast cancer, so I won’t get it either.

FACT:

Most women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

MYTH:

If I get breast cancer, I’ll die from it.

FACT:

When breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, over 96% of women survive for more than five years.

MAMMOGRAPH ~ MYTHS & FACTS

MYTH:

I can’t afford to get a mammogram.

FACT:

  • Medicare helps pay for women aged 40 and older who are covered under the program to have a screening mammogram once every 12 months. If you have Medicare, your portion of the payment is usually about $15. You do not have to meet a deductible first.
  • Most insurance companies help pay for mammograms. In Rhode Island, if a woman doesn’t have health insurance, she can call the Women’s Cancer Screening Program at 1-888-237-9800.

MYTH:

Mammograms are unsafe and painful.

FACT:

  • Mammograms give only minimal exposure to radiation and do not cause cancer.
  • In order to get a clear x-ray, some pressure on the breasts is needed during the mammogram, but it only lasts a few minutes.
  • If the pressure becomes too uncomfortable, you can tell the mammography technician to decrease the pressure.

MYTH:

I’ve had one mammogram – that’s all I need.

FACT:

  • Breast cancer can occur at any time. That is why it is so important to get regular mammograms – not just one.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Cancer Society, and all major physician organizations recommend that women aged 40 and older have a mammogram every year or two.
  • When you have regular mammograms, your doctor can compare the x-rays from year to year. This makes it easier to find changes in the breasts and detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

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