Reality: Dads, husbands, and brothers can develop breast cancer, too, but it’s far less common in men than it is in women. Every year, about 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, compared with about 200,000 women.
2. Myth: Breast cancer is the most common cause of death for women.
Reality: Actually, it’s not even the leading cause of cancer-related death. Both heart disease (the leading cause of death among American women) and lung cancer (the leading cause of cancer-related death) kill more women every year than breast cancer does.
3. Myth: A breast cancer diagnosis means you’re going to die.
Reality: This is usually true—in the movies. In fact, a recent study found that films drastically over-portray cancer as a death sentence; in 63 percent of the movies studied, cancer patients died of the disease. But in truth, thefive-year survival rate for early-stage breast cancer is more than 90 percent.
4. Myth: Most people who get diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.
Reality: Only an estimated 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary. Even if you don’t have a family history of the disease, it’s still important to stay up-to-date on your recommended screenings.
5. Myth: You only need to worry about a family history of breast cancer on your mother’s side.
Reality: A diagnosis of breast cancer on either side of the family is equally relevant. And be sure to ask about ovarian cancer, too—the BRCA gene mutations are linked to an increased risk of both breast and ovarian cancers, so a strong family history of either disease could indicate that you carry the mutations…
Read more: The Pueblo Chieftan