Breast Cancer myths
There's no history of breast cancer in my family, so I don't need to worry.
More than 80% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease.
I don't need a mammogram if I don't have any symptoms.
A mammogram can detect breast cancer when it is very small. Remember, if detected early, breast cancer can be treated with success.
My doctor didn't tell me to get a mammogram so I don't need one.
Today most doctors tell women to begin having mammograms every year starting at age 40. But remember, if you have any symptoms, like a lump in your breast, see your doctor right away.
Having a mammogram is really painful.
A mammogram is a little uncomfortable because your breast is put between two plastic plates and flattened. Mammograms take only a few seconds so you're not uncomfortable for long.
Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.
8 out of 10 lumps are not cancer! If you discover a lump or any changes in your breast go see your doctor right away
A mammogram gives off a lot of radiation.
Since a mammogram is an x-ray it uses radiation to take a picture. The amount of radiation is very small compared to the benefits of detecting breast cancer early.
I've already had a mammogram and it didn't show any cancer, so I don't need another one.
Once is not enough! Every woman starting at age 40 should start have a mammogram every year. Breast cancer usually grows slowly so you need to go every year to catch it when it's small.
If a mammogram finds something it's too late to do anything.
When breast cancer is found early your chances of survival are 96%! This means that 96 out of 100 women survive for 5 or more years! There are many options for treatment when breast cancer is found early.
The size of my breast changes my risk for getting breast cancer.
Whether large or small, the size of a woman's breasts does not change her risk for getting breast cancer.
A mammogram is not a cure for breast cancer.
A mammogram can detect breast cancer when it's very small. Remember if detected early breast cancer can be treated with success.
Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts offers free breast exams and mammograms to women age 40 and older. To see if you qualify for these free tests call 1-800-511-2300 Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. We speak English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese.