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16 Common Myths About Breast Cancer

years with their disease.

4. I’ve made it five years as a survivor, so my breast cancer won’t return. Breast cancer can recur at any time, although it is more likely to happen within the first five to 10 years: 75 percent of women who will get a recurrence see it within six years, and 25 percent recur in the 10 years after that. New hormonal therapies, including tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, may be delaying recurrence, so that the cancer is more likely to return after the woman stops taking those drugs.

5. Chemotherapy will make me nauseated and I will be vomiting all the time. Chemotherapy does cause nausea and vomiting. But in the last 10 years, new drugs have become available that can almost completely control nausea, and very few people have persistent nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

6. If I have a breast lump, it’s cancer. Most breast lumps felt are not cancer. They could by cysts or a benign condition called fibrocystic changes or fibroadenoma. Lumps could also be pre-cancerous conditions that will need some treatment. But don’t let these facts lull you into complacency. All lumps should be checked thoroughly.

7. Herbal remedies and dietary supplements can help treat breast cancer. No herbal remedy, dietary supplement or alternative therapy has been scientifically proven to treat breast cancer. Further, doctors do not know how these alternative medicines may interact with established medicines – if they cause their own side effects or interfere with the traditional therapy’s effectiveness.

8. I eat a healthy diet, which will make me immune to breast cancer. Diet does play a role in cancer development, but not by itself. No one food or vitamin will prevent breast cancer. At the same time, no one food is responsible for causing cancer. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and strive to get a variety of nutrients.

9. My mammogram was normal, so I don’t have to worry about breast ca
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