Common myths about breast cancer

3:11 PM, Oct 28, 2012   |    comments
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(WZZM) - With only a few days left in October, which is breast cancer awareness month, we want to take a little time to dispel a few common myths associated with the disease.

Myth #1: The same tumor types runs in families, so you're more susceptible to them.

That is not true. Within the same family you can have different types of breast cancer.

Doctors say what's important is getting the characteristics of the tumor so it can be treated more effectively.

Myth #2: Radiation exposure from a yearly mammogram increases your risk.

There is no evidence to support that. The benefits of finding cancer early through mammograms outweigh any risks.

Myth #3: Breast exams aren't necessary if your mammogram comes back normal.

"There are some false negatives that occur with mammography," said Dr. Katherine Lee with the Cleveland Clinic. "So you want to make sure you get a clinical breast exam and do yourself a monthly breast exam if you can or if you feel comfortable doing that because we know that because of this possibility of missing a cancer we need to do other things and the breast exam is an important component of that."

Early detection is key to beating breast cancer.  The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40.

This year, more than 220,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

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