Breast Myths

The good, the bad – and the ugly. Stories we tell ourselves about our breasts and cancer that simply aren’t true #CheckFeelLookKnow



These claims have been around for several years, including that claims of aluminium in antiperspirants can increase your risk. There is no convincing evidence to show that this is the case
Underwired bras
Wearing a well-fitting bra is important, if your bra doesn’t fit it may cause discomfort, pain or swelling but it will not cause the restriction of the flow of lymph fluid into the armpit causing toxin build up, and this is a myth!
Several studies have failed to link stress directly to cancer. However, they have linked stress to an increase in other lifestyle behaviours like being less active, drinking alcohol or smoking more, which could increase your risk.
Nipple piercing
There is no evidence, but it does increase the risk of infection at the time of piercing and whilst wearing the jewellery.
Shift work or exposure to light at night
Shift work or exposure to light at night may increase the risk of breast cancer as they are responsible for decreasing the production of certain hormones which are protective against breast cancer. Most recent research says this is a myth.
Mammograms are harmful
Mammograms are x-rays and do have radiation, the risk is minimal and it is considered to outweigh the risks. To put into perspective if you fly to Australia you are exposed to more radiation.
Finding a Lump = Cancer
Not true, only a small percentage of lumps are cancerous. Lots of ladies have lumpy breasts, talk to our nurses if you are worried about this! This comes back to knowing what is normal for you.
Mobile Phones and 5G
Some people worry about radio waves, there is currently no evidence that the radio waves from mobile phones cause breast cancer or increase the risks of developing it.
Being knocked or damage like squeezing or bruising
It may cause damage including swelling that is tender to touch. Sometimes this can lead to the development of a benign (not cancerous) lump known as fat necrosis which is scar tissue that can form whilst the body heals the damaged tissue.
In vitro fertilisation – current evidence shows there is no increased risk, however as it is a relatively new procedure, more research is needed into the long-term effects.
Several recent studies have shown this does not affect your risks.
Annual mammograms guarantee that breast cancer can be found early
Unfortunately, this isn’t foolproof, which is why breast awareness is so important. We could talk about false negatives, but to keep this simple, have a mammogram if you are eligible, know your breasts by being breast aware so that you can find any changes when they happen.
Transgender people cannot get Breast Cancer
Transgender women undergoing hormone treatment have an increased risk compared to cisgender men, transgender men and AFAB (Assigned female at birth). Nonbinary people can still develop breast cancer after surgery and/or while taking testosterone but there are no reliable studies to say if the risk is increased.

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