Doctors: These are the biggest myths about breast cancer 2

Doctors: These are the biggest myths about breast cancer

October is the International Breast Cancer Month since 1985 and aims to increase awareness of the disease and early detection.

The topic of breast cancer is filled with many fears. Dr. Volker Brandenbusch is the head of the mammography unit in Neheim-Hüsten, which is responsible for the Hochsauerlandkreis. He experiences over and over how women – and even men – can be deterred by persistent false information about breast cancer and early detection of preventative checkups. The doctor clarifies with some myths.

Brandenbusch says, "Statistically, every eighth woman is diagnosed with breast cancer once in a lifetime. But: Early detected breast cancer can be cured in over 90 percent of cases." Persistent, many myths and false information on the subject

The pressure of mammography causes breast cancer

An X-ray is required to perform a mammogram. In order to reduce the use of X-rays and avoid blurring, the breast is compressed between two plates. This compression is a bit uncomfortable, but it does no harm – especially no breast cancer.

I notice myself when something is growing.

Breast cancer usually does not cause discomfort in the early stages. But it will have less impact if found on time.

Therapy is then milder and easier, and chemotherapy is often necessary. It is said that the knot must be at least 12-15 mm in size in order to feel it. The mammogram shows changes mostly of 6 mm in size. Still, scanning itself is an important element in early detection.

I had a lot of stress, now I have breast cancer.

As with food, the psychological component in the development of breast cancer has not been scientifically proven, although it is often presented differently.

I was given a tissue sample for free.

Sometimes irregularities that cannot be classified from the X-ray are detected. However, this does not necessarily mean breast cancer, but it can also be harmless. The tissue sample brings clarity. No woman wants to live in uncertainty if and what "grows in her."

My dad's grandmother had breast cancer – I'm burdened with family.

There is a genetic variation in about five to ten percent of breast cancer cases. Then the diseases usually appear at a young age and are often very aggressive. There is, for example, breast cancer of the mother, for the daughter there is a risk of four times. But this only applies to the mother's line – unless the father himself had breast cancer.

The tissue sample causes the tumor to explode. When the air reaches the tumor, it grows faster.

Studies confirm that the biopsy has no effect on the tumor, its growth or the formation of metastases. Using a tissue sample, the pathologist can determine what the tumor is, how fast it grows and what biological features it has, which is important for later therapy. In the past, these features were often determined during surgery – with all the surprises.

I was breastfeeding and therefore did not get breast cancer.

Breastfeeding is definitely not only good for the baby, but also for the breast tissue. Long periods of lactation have a protective effect but do not provide absolute safety against cancer.

A mammogram is only a mass treatment.

The mammogram is intended for all women between the ages of 50 and 69. This means that more than 5.5 million women are eligible in Germany every year. There are currently 94 screening units in Germany offering an average of 100,000 women every 2 years. Nevertheless, each examination is individually tailored to the woman and is only conducted by specially trained staff.

The mammogram examination only lasts until his 70th birthday. After that, there is no more breast cancer.

Between the ages of 50 and 69, there is the highest probability of illness. But this does not mean that women under 50 and over 70 do not have breast cancer. The likelihood of dying from breast cancer after age 70 is less than another disease – such as cardiovascular – that is dying. But life expectancy is also steadily increasing, so the elderly are increasingly expected to have the disease. Thus, Austria has already raised the age limit. In Germany, it is a political decision to shift age limits, which is not currently expected.

I am a private insured because the mammogram examination is not paid.

Early detection as part of a mammogram screening between 50 and 69 is a legal right that all health insurance companies – whether private or legal – must have. Private patients receive a bill that is refunded to them by insurance.

I prevent breast cancer with a healthy diet.

Unfortunately, breast cancer occurs spontaneously and for no apparent reason. There is currently no known nutritional prevention. Only very large amounts of soybean in excess of 2-3 kg per day (!!) can have an effect – these quantities can be consumed by just about anyone.

My gynecologist does ultrasound regularly, so I don't need a mammogram.

Ultrasound is a good procedure and complements mammography. However, it bypasses precursors that often go along with calcifications. These precursors are the types of tumors the doctor wants to find, as these can often be treated without problems and the prognosis is then as if no disease had occurred.

Men do not get breast cancer.

Unfortunately an underrated topic. Men also develop glandular tissue – though not as much as women, but even these small amounts can lead to breast cancer. It is said that every hundredth breast cancer affects one man – about 600 cases a year. Unfortunately, as men later respond to changes in the breast, the disease is often more advanced than in women. Unfortunately, the prognosis is still worse for men than for women. Therefore, men should respond to changes in the breast immediately and be screened.