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Breast Cancer Myths and Facts

Michael Simon, M.D., MPH, professor of Oncology at Karmanos, addresses misinformation about breast cancer.
Can deodorants or antiperspirants cause breast cancer?
“No. It’s normal for the body to perspire, so I advise patients to use a deodorant and not an antiperspirant if they’re concerned. But there is no definite link between these agents and breast cancer.”
If I find a lump during a self exam, it means I have breast cancer.
“Not necessarily. The majority of lumps are not cancerous but they should be checked out – see a physician immediately and schedule a physical exam and a mammogram.”
Since breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, I don’t need a mammogram.
“Breast cancer isn’t just a hereditary disease. There are other lifestyle-related risk factors, as well as unknown causes. That’s why it’s important to get regular mammograms.”
Can a mammogram cause cancer to spread?
“No. The breast is compressed during a mammogram to obtain the best possible image, but it doesn’t cause cancer to spread. Mammograms help find breast cancer at its most curable stage.”
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The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
If members of the public have any quality-of-care or safety concerns, they may notify The Joint Commission at 630-792-5800.