According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in women, globally. Among 9.6 million cancer deaths reported worldwide in 2018, 2.09 million deaths were caused by breast cancer. It is estimated that by 2020, Breast cancer in India will have been responsible for over 8.8 lakh deaths and 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease where cancerous cells (malignant cells) form in the tissues of the breast. Medical science is yet to find the exact cause of breast cancer. All that we know is that cancer damages the DNA of a healthy cell and forces it to become cancerous and spread into other tissues.
Most people don’t read or learn much about breast cancer until themselves or someone close to them is diagnosed with this disease. As a result, there are several myths about breast cancer that keeps patients and their families in the dark and confused. Below we debunk 5 myths about breast cancer with facts and help you understand breast cancer in a better way.
Myth #1: If there is no breast cancer history in my family, I’m safe
Fact: Absolutely not! Studies have shown that 90% of women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. Hereditary breast cancer is passed due to abnormal changes in the genes from parent to child. Considering that only 10% of breast cancer is hereditary, it explains that there are other factors such as environment, lifestyle and diet that play more important roles in breast cancer.
Myth #2: If I’m healthy and have a healthy diet and lifestyle, I won’t get breast cancer
Fact: Unfortunately, that’s not true. Yes, it does lower your risks but it’s not some sort of guaranteed protection. Of course, it’s important to live a healthy life but it’s also important to make regular breast self-examinations and make scheduled visits to your gynaecologist if you have any doubts.
Myth #3: I can get breast cancer if I wear a bra
Fact: There is no scientific evidence to prove that statement. This myth has spread due to some people in the internet and media discussing about this topic. Roughly 1,500 women were examined in 2014 to study this claim but no connection was found between wearing bras and breast cancer. 
Myth #4: Excessive sugar consumption causes breast cancer
Fact: Many people think that cancer cells feed off sugar and help speed up of its growth. Every cell in our body uses blood sugar (glucose) to carry out its functions, whether they are cancer cells or healthy ones. People wrongly assume that cancer cells increases with excess sugar consumption because cancer cells consume sugar faster than normal cells.
However, that doesn’t prove in any way that excess sugar consumption causes breast cancer. Excess sugar consumption is not good for health but there is no scientific evidence that it causes any type of cancer.
Myth #5: I need to have a lump in my breast if I have breast cancer
Fact: Not necessarily! This is one of the most common myths about breast cancer. Not all breast cancer will show up as a lump in the breast during a self-examination. Some women may not experience a lump in the preliminary stages but by the time they can find the lump, cancer may have progressed further into the lymph nodes. That’s why you shouldn’t just rely on self-examination but go for regular mammography screenings to detect breast cancer at the right time.
Breast cancer in India causes the most number of deaths because the disease usually has reached the third or fourth stage when it’s diagnosed. At this stage, the chances of survival are down to only 20%, while there is a 70-80% chance of survival in the early stages.
For breast cancer patients and their families, apart from financial protection, the right information and education is a powerful tool to fight breast cancer. Therefore, it’s important for you to keep yourself updated with the latest medical information and news. But most importantly, it’s crucial to have enough financial protection in the form of cancer insurance as breast cancer treatment can be very expensive and taxing. Learn why women should buy cancer insurance.
Getting diagnosed with Cancer is really heartbreaking, and because of our lifestyle and surroundings, the risk of getting Cancer is on an all-time high. Cancer cases in India is skyrocketing and nobody is safe. The most demoralizing part about Cancer is that it not only affects your health but also puts a major burden on your financial status. However, the financial burden that you face can be eased with the help of a Cancer insurance. A cancer insurance policy by Future Generali will help you stay financially and psychologically secure in case you or a family member of yours is diagnosed with Cancer.