Myths

Myths

divider

There is a lot of information out there about breast cancer and its risk factors. While it can be challenging to sort truth from myth, here are some risk factors you may have heard about that have not been proven completely factual.

Unproven But Widely Considered Risk Factors

  • High fat diets: Studies of fat in the diet have not clearly shown that this is a breast cancer risk factor. Most studies have found that breast cancer is less common in countries where the typical diet is low in fat. We may be able to prevent as many as 25 out of every 100 cancer cases (25%) by changing our diets. But it is difficult to be exact about this. Research suggests that between 15% and 35% of cancers may be preventable by changing diet.
  • Abortions: Several studies show that induced abortions do not increase the risk of breast cancer. Also, there is no evidence to show a direct link between miscarriages and breast cancer.
  • Breast implants: Silicone breast implants can cause scar tissue to form in the breast, but several studies have found that this does not increase breast cancer risk. If you have breast implants, you might need special X-rays during mammograms.
  • Pollution: Research is currently underway to learn how the environment might affect breast cancer risk. At this time, research does not show a clear link between breast cancer risk and environmental pollutants.
  • Tobacco Smoke: Most studies have found no link between active cigarette smoking and breast cancer, although it has been linked to other cancers. Research continues on whether second hand smoke may increase the risk of breast cancer. But even a possible link to breast cancer is yet another reason to avoid second hand smoke.
Print this page