PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — When Christy Wilson of Virginia Beach was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, it took her by surprise. “I don’t have any family history of breast cancer,” she told 10 On Your Side.
Many people believe you’ll only get breast cancer if you have a family history, but that is a myth.
“[For] the majority of breast cancers, there is not going to be any family history or genetic link. Only 5-10% of women will test positive for genetics,” said Bon Secours Breast Surgeon, Dr. Nicole Yeshtokin.
Dr. Yeshtokin said that women who do have a family history however are considered at increased risk of breast cancer.
Wilson found a lump in her breast which a doctor diagnosed as cancer, but it is a myth that there will always be a lump you can feel.
“It can also be changes in the skin. Any rashes or flaking of the nipple breast pain can also be a sign,” Dr. Yeshtokin told 10 On Your Side.
You may also have heard that carrying your cell phone in your bra, wearing a bar with under wire, or using antiperspirant can cause cancer.
All of those the doctor confirmed are myths.
As for what you eat or drink, eating a low-fat diet may lower your risk of cancer, but Dr. Yeshtokin said that “To date, there are no studies to support that any particular diet that would affect breast cancer.”
Annual mammograms are one of the best tools for detecting breast cancer, but a guarantee of finding it early is also a myth. “Mammograms, like any screening test, are not 100%. They’re about 87% sensitive for picking up breast cancer.” Yeshtokin said.
That is why you should also do monthly self-exams and as Wilson pointed out, don’t believe everything you hear. “Just do the research for yourself. Don’t always assume that what everyone is saying is the correct way.”
Resources for reliable information on breast cancer: