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February 2020

Many myths and misconceptions surround breast cancer. Medical Director, Dr Ong Kong Wee, addresses some of the common myths and provide the facts of the number 1 cancer for women.

Myth: Breast cancer is a death sentence

If detected and treated early, breast cancer need not result in death. Early detection saves lives. That is why regular check ups and screenings are important. Prevention is better than cure.

Myth: Breast cancer is hereditary

Over 90% of women with breast cancer have no known family history of the disease.

Myth: Breast cancer only occurs in middle age women

Breast cancer can affect women of any age. Although breast cancer most commonly affects women between 50-60 years old, it can also occur in women less than 40 years old and the elderly.

Myth: All breast lumps are cancerous

9 out of 10 breast lumps detected are benign. If you discover a lump, see a doctor for a clinical breast examination.

Myth: Wearing a bra causes breast cancer

Scientific evidence does not support a link between wearing a bra (especially an underwire bra) and breast cancer risk.

Myth: Wearing deodorant causes breast cancer

There is no evidence of a link between deodorant use and breast cancer.

Myth: Mastectomy is the only way to get rid of cancer

Mastectomy is not required for all breast cancers. With new technology, recent research and improved therapies, those diagnosed with breast cancer have a range of treatment options, depending on the stage and type of breast cancer.

Myth: Having a biopsy will cause breast cancer to spread

A biopsy is performed to determine if cancer is present. If the disease spreads, it is not because of the biopsy.