Getting The Straight Story About Breast Cancer: Facts And Myths Shared In "I Wear Pink" Report

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 21, 2012 Updated Jun 22, 2012 at 7:11 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- True or false: overweight women have the same breast cancer risk as other women.

That’s false.

Being overweight does increase your risk, especially if you're past menopause.

In our ongoing informative campaign called, "I Wear Pink", we look at facts and myths about breast cancer.

Science tells us, for instance, that wearing underwire bras doesn't increase your risk of getting breast cancer.

According to research, hair straighteners used by African-American women, they also don't heighten your chances of getting breast cancer.

We asked an expert from Parkview Regional Medical Center to straighten us out on some other questions.

Fact or myth, breast cancer is really all about bad genes.

Nancy Ehmke/Clinical Nurse Specialist: " People will say I don't have a family history of breast cancer, so I can't get it."

Ehmke, a clinical nurse specializing in Oncology for Parkview Hospital, says that’s a myth.

Nancy Ehmke: " In reality, about 90 percent of all breast cancers just happen.

How about this notion, men can't get breast cancer.

That's false, and in contrast to women, breast cancer for men does tend to be passed down from generation to generation.

Ehmke: " If there's a father, uncle, grandfather, who’s had breast cancer, then that person, that male, is at risk for getting breast cancer himself."

Jeff Neumeyer: " Anti-perspirant is a staple of personal hygiene. But it's also a point of discussion in the topic of breast cancer."

Does using anti-perspirant increase your breast cancer risk?

The American Cancer Society says that's an unfounded rumor, but because of preservatives in some anti-perspirants, that have weak estrogen-like properties, more attention is being paid to the subject.

On a related note, no causal connection has been found between drinking caffeine and getting breast cancer.

Here's one...if a woman gets breast cancer, she needs a full mastectomy, to provide a decent survival rate.

Ehmke says that's a myth.

Ehmke: " Breast cancer can be very effectively treated through a lumpectomy, which is removal of the cancer and some normal tissue around it, followed by radiation therapy often."

Finally, Ehmke says people are misguided in believing another statement about breast cancer.

Ehmke: " Cancer is a death sentence. The fact is, there are more than 10,000,000 survivors out there of all types of cancers."

If you want to see more facts and myths on this topic, you can go to our
"I Wear Pink" Facebook page, at facebook.com/wear pink, and look for the link.

What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "QUESTION OF THE DAY” comment.

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