Myths about breast examination

Do you know the health risks associated with mammography? Or that having small breasts makes it impossible? Do you believe that a breast exam doesn’t need to be rushed or that it is best to skip one because it will only unnecessarily uncover something? These are harmful myths that should not be believed.

Despite the importance of breast examinations, there are many myths surrounding them that can lead to confusion and fear. One common myth is that only women over the age of 50 need to get mammograms. However, the American Cancer Society recommends that women begin getting mammograms at age 40 and continue to get them annually. Another myth is that breast cancer only affects women, but men can also develop breast cancer. It’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to breast examinations to ensure proper care and early detection.

The most frequently discovered malignant tumor in women is breast cancer. Breast ultrasound, mammography, and self-examination are the three main breast exams that work in tandem to help find breast cancer early. Unfortunately, there are still misconceptions about breast examination despite our society’s growing health consciousness.

A mammogram won’t be performed if you have small breasts.

Mammography does not have a problem with small breasts. Even a small amount of tissue placed on the mammogram’s base doesn’t prevent the camera from taking pictures. Men can be tested too.

Breast ultrasound and mammography tests are only available to women.

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but men make up 1% of cases. Regular mammograms and ultrasounds can help detect breast cancer early, which can increase the chances of successful treatment. Additionally, individuals with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors should consider getting screened at a younger age or more frequently. In a study, experts looked over 1,869 men’s mammograms and found 2,304 breast lesions, 149 of which underwent biopsies and 41 were found to be cancerous. It is important to screen high-risk men for breast cancer to aid in the early detection of cancer and save lives.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are contraindications for breast imaging

Breast ultrasounds are safe to perform while nursing or pregnant. Mammography is not recommended during pregnancy, but can be done if necessary. Mammograms can also be done while breast-feeding, but the results have no impact on the milk’s quality or composition or the wellbeing of the breastfed child. Women must express milk before the examination to lessen the discomfort.

For women who have breast implants, imaging tests are not done.

Breast ultrasound or mammography are not incompatible with having breast implants, but the presence of implants can make examination and result interpretation challenging. Imaging tests are carried out differently in women with implants, such as taking more pictures or positioning the breast correctly. It is necessary to disclose to the diagnostician prior to the examination.

Every few years, a breast ultrasound is recommended.

More of these studies need to be conducted. . If breast cancer runs in the family, this test should be performed every six months. Between the ages of 50 and 69, mammography should be done every two years, and if there is a family history of breast cancer, every year.

You receive a significant amount of radiation exposure during mammography.

Mammography is regarded as a safe procedure, and the most radiation we are exposed to in one appointment is 0.4 mSv. This quantity falls within the acceptable range for health. We must keep in mind that we are exposed to radiation every day from the environment. Radiation doses between 0.1 and 1.0 mSv increase the risk of death by the same amount as taking a passenger flight over a 7,200-kilometer route. 

Mammography can reliably identify breast cancer. Breast ultrasounds are safe to perform while nursing or pregnant. 

Mammography is not recommended during pregnancy, but can be done if necessary. It can also be done while breast-feeding, but the results have no impact on the milk’s quality or composition or the wellbeing of the breastfed child. Women must express milk before the examination to lessen the discomfort. During an examination, a suspicious change may be found, but breast cancer is not always the result. To confirm or rule out a malignant lesion, additional tests are required, such as a biopsy. Most of these errors are made by women between the ages of 40 and 50.

Anytime is a good time to examine your breasts.

No and yes. Although it is important to be on the lookout for breast cancer, it is not advised to have a breast exam prior to your period because of the hormonal changes brought on by the menstrual cycle. Mammography, ultrasound, and breast self-examination should all be done in the first half of the menstrual cycle, which is the time between the period and ovulation. The breasts swell and are tender before menstruation. It’s not a good idea to perform this kind of test right now because I might also have a different tissue consistency.

Breast ultrasound is less reliable than mammography.

There is no better or worse study among these. These studies support one another, employ various technologies, and cater to various patient populations. Mammography is a test that is primarily recommended for women over 50. (and in some recommendations over 40 years of age ). This test should not be carried out on women under the age of 40 due to the dense breast tissue at a younger age. A breast ultrasound is intended for these women.

When examining your breasts, take your time. It’s a product for older women.

Without a doubt. Every female over the age of 20 should routinely check her breasts. You can form this crucial habit from a young age. It is recommended to perform a so-called breast palpation once per month, ideally between the sixth and ninth day of the menstrual cycle. After age 30, regular breast ultrasound is advised. All women should take steps to prevent breast cancer.

When breasts are examined, the majority of lumps are cancerous.

Contrary! The majority of breast changes found by various tests are benign and unrelated to cancer. Up to 80% of breast lumps are thought to be benign abnormalities. As a result, you shouldn’t be afraid to have your breasts examined. The worry that the test will unquestionably find the illness is unfounded, and it shouldn’t deter us from routine prophylaxis. It’s important to keep in mind that breast cancer does not necessarily mean death. Early detection prevents metastasis, and it is nearly curable.



4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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