Myths & Truths

31 Myths and Truths

WARNING: Hearing the truth about breast cancer may surprise you. And it should motivate you.

It’s time to move beyond awareness to action.

It’s time to peel back the pink to see what’s really happening in breast cancer research, treatment, prevention, and cure.

Learn the facts, backed by science.

Our breast cancer myths and truths are backed by science, documented by credible and trusted sources, and are chosen because they are often misunderstood by or misrepresented to the general public.

We challenge you to become educated, speak up on behalf of women and men everywhere, and take action to end this disease. We also call on you to help us spread this message to people you know: friends, family, coworkers, anyone who cares about ending breast cancer.

We will show you the way and give you the tools to get involved and make a difference.

Myth #1: Monthly breast self exams save lives
Myth #2: Mammograms can only help and not harm you
Myth #3: MRI is better than mammography because it finds more cancer
Truth #4: When breast cancer shows up on a mammogram, it may have been in your body for 6-10 years
Truth #5: Breast cancer mortality rates are declining
Myth #6: Mammograms prevent breast cancer
Truth #7: We don't know how to prevent breast cancer
Myth #8: Most women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease
Myth #9: Men don't get breast cancer
Truth #10: Risk of breast cancer increases with age; 50% of breast cancer occurs among women aged 62 years or older
Truth #11: Most people think they have a higher risk of breast cancer than they actually do
Myth #12: Everyone's breast cancer is the same
Myth #13: Everyone who has a positive BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 test result will get breast cancer
Truth #14: The mortality rate from breast cancer is higher for African American women than for Caucasian women
Myth #15: In terms of survival, removing the entire breast is better than just removing the cancer and having radiation treatment
Myth #16: There are drugs that can prevent breast cancer
Myth #17: Once diagnosed with breast cancer, it's very important to make treatment decisions immediately
Myth #18: Second opinions are only for treatment options. Once I know I have breast cancer, I can get a second opinion on how to treat the disease
Truth #19: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases your risk of breast cancer
Myth #20: With new treatments, we can now cure breast cancer
Truth #21: You should question your doctor
Myth #22: If I am not a scientist, then I won't be able to understand breast cancer research
Truth #23: Your tax dollars fund a significant amount of breast cancer research
Myth #24: My Senators and Members of Congress have no role in what happens in breast cancer
Myth #25: The media accurately reports breast cancer science
Myth #26: All breast cancer research is good because it moves us toward prevention and a cure
Myth #27: Breast cancer survivors are too close to the issue to participate in how research money is spent
Truth #28: Less than 3% of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials
Truth #29: I can educate myself
Truth #30: I can influence what happens in Washington D.C. about breast cancer
Truth #31: I can make a difference

Myth and Truth Conversation Resources

We know it’s not easy to begin this conversation. But you must.

It starts at the kitchen table, at work, on the playground, in the exam room, on the phone. So brush up on your facts and myths.

Get going with your conversation about breast cancer with these “How To” guides:

How to Talk to My Friends and Family
How to Talk to Health Care Professionals
How to Talk to My Elected Officials
How to Talk to the Media