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We debunk 5 breast cancer myths

08 October, 08:51 AM

October is breast cancer awareness month. We speak to Professor Justus Apffelstaedt, Associate Professor at the University of Stellenbosch and Head at the Breast Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital, he debunks some breast cancer myths for us.

Myth 1
The first myth we debunk is younger women have an increased risk at breast cancer. He says this is in fact not true, women usually develop breast cancer between the ages of 50 and 60. People often think the incidence in younger women is increasing because women with celebrity status get media coverage.

Myth 2
The second myth we discuss is the contribution of chemotherapy reduces mortality significantly. He says although this is true, early detection is key.

Myth 3
The third myth we discuss is the one that says smoking increases your risk of breast cancer. Apffelstaedt says that although smoking puts people at risk for other cancers, breast cancer is not one of them.

Myth 4
The fourth myth we debunk is the one that says it doesn't matter where you are treated. Apffelstaedt says this is actually a very important factor. He says the risk of death within 5 years can increase to 60 per cent if a woman is treated in an environment where only few breast cancers are treated.

Myth 5
If you have breast augmentation, breast cancer is harder to detect and you are more at risk. Apffelstaedt says breast implants do not add more breast tissue, so they do not put you more at risk, but special techniques are needed to complete a thorough exam.

Read up on the latest news, treatments and signs of breast cancer at

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