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By Dr Rabbia Khan : Busting Common Myths About Breast Cancer

Some common myths or questions that often get discussed in the consultation room.

Dr. Rabbia Khan, General and Breast Surgeon at Mediclinic City Hospital discusses these common queries to re enforce the importance of annual checks and screening for the early detection of Breast Cancer.

Breast Cancer when detected early have a higher chance of treatment and can be cured.

Myth
If I have cancer and I do mammogram it will squash my cancer and it will spread throughout my body.

Fact
Cancer does not spread by pressing on it, however it has its own growth pattern, it can approach the vessels nearby and from there it can get access to the rest of the body.

Myth
If I do a biopsy, it will spread the cancer or even awaken a sleeping lump.

Fact
Core biopsy needle is basically covered, it opens up only in the lump that needs to be biopsied, as soon as it takes the sample it closes within the lump and protected within its cover pulled out by the radiologist. If ever the seedling happens, not significant.

Myth
Wearing black Bra and wired Bra will cause cancer.

Fact
Not proven medically, that cancer can happen with wired or different colored bras. However, it is very important that women and young ladies wear a well-supported bra and maintain hygiene to avoid other breast infections.

Myth
Deodorant in the armpit will cause cancer.

Fact
There are no researches done to prove that deodorants cause cancer. However they do show as calcifications in mammograms and hence we ask patients not wear any lotion, deodorants or perfumes while coming in for mammograms.

Myth
Radiation exposure with mammogram is very high.

Fact
Mammogram does have ionizing radiation but low levels than used for other radiography. Multiple studies have concluded that the benefits of mammogram outweigh the risks.

Myth
Mammograms are painful.

Fact
Not anymore, with new machines and advanced technology, the radiographers will ask you while applying pressure and will make sure that you are comfortable. Let’s call it discomfort rather than pain.

Myth
If my mammogram is clear, that’s means I am clear from having breast cancer as well.

Fact
Though keeping up with your mammograms are essential, they don’t always spot all types of breast cancer. When dense breast tissue is present, it is more likely for cancer to be hidden by the tissue. For those with dense breasts, your doctor might also suggest a breast ultrasound or breast MRI.

Myth
I had a normal mammogram last year, so I don’t need another one this year.

Fact
Mammography is detection, not prevention. Having a normal mammogram is great news, but it does not guarantee that future mammograms will be normal. Having an appropriate breast screening, either a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI as per your individualized treatment schedule, planned by your physician increases the chance of detecting the cancer when it is small and when it is most easily treated which also improves survival.

About The Author:

Dr Rabbia Khan is a Consultant Breast and General Surgeon at PMC. She is an expert in breast surgery for cancer, management and treatment of breast symptoms such as lumps and pain, treatment for benign breast lumps, high risk screening and general screening for the breast, minor anal surgeries, and minor procedures for lumps and bumps.

Dr Khan actively participates in research work and has multiple publications to her name. She currently also works as a Consultant General and Breast Surgeon at Mediclinic City Hospital.