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There are many myths floating around about breast health. So I've decided to settle the score once and for all and give you the truth.
MYTH # 1: Breast implants will have to be replaced
TRUE:For the most part, breast augmentation/lifts with implants need to be revised after 10-15 years because the implant may have degenerated. But more likely there will be a change in the shape of the breast because of gravity, having children, and/or breastfeeding.
MYTH # 2: You will wear the same bra size your entire life
FALSE:There is no one-size fits all rule when it comes to your breasts. The size and shape will change over time depending on what stage of life you are in. When you are pregnant and/or nursing your breasts will increase significantly. Some women see a one or two cup change. Women going through menopause will actually see a reduction in their breast size sometimes. And anytime you gain or lose weight you can expect for the band size of your bra to change. It's important to get resized every year to be sure that you are wearing the proper bra. Wearing a bra that doesn't fit can contribute to several health issues including: indigestion, backache and migraines. MYTH # 3: Underwire bras increase your chances of getting breast cancer
FALSE:Small studies in the past have tried to say that there might be a correlation between wearing a bra with an underwire and getting breast cancer. Their research had to do with blood flow restriction but there is no evidence to substantiate or support the claims. So go right ahead and buy an underwire bra! MYTH # 4: Deodorant causes cancer
FALSE: A study was done years ago that there might be a link between antiperspirant and breast cancer because of the aluminum in it. Plain deodorants don't have any aluminum in them and are safe. But reports suggest that aluminum can be absorbed through the skin if you cut yourself shaving. The National Cancer Institute and the FDA hasn't found any evidence that that any of these ingredients cause cancer. But if you want to be on the safe side avoid buying antiperspirants and stick to plain deodorant.
MYTH #5: You can't get cancer after you've had a mastectomy FALSE:Unfortunately, after having a mastectomy you may still be susceptible to cancer. It can reoccur on the chest wall, which is called the pectoralis muscle. If you've had a nipple sparing mastectomy then cancer can present itself in the nipple. Although it's rare, cancer could grow in the lymph nodes even if you've had an axillary node dissection. Cancer can always occur in other areas of the body and the fact that you've already had cancer leaves you more at risk for developing other kinds, like ovarian and colon cancers. So be vigilant about taking your medications and going for follow-up doctor's visits. MYTH #6: Your breasts can be different sizes TRUE:This is a condition called asymmetry and almost all women have some difference in the size of their breasts. Although it might be difficult to notice, 75 percent of women have a left breast that is larger than the right one. In some women the discrepancy can be almost an entire cup size. If it truly bothers you, talk to your doctor about breast augmentation.
MYTH #7: You can't breastfeed if you've had breast implants
TRUE & FALSE:This is a complicated answer because there are several variables involved. For the most part it is true - you can breastfeed if you've had breast implants. That is, if the incision was made in the armpit, under the breast or in the areola. If you've had this type of surgery then it is most likely that your milk ducts are still intact. For women who've had a breast lift with implants and the incision goes all the way around the nipple there is a chance that you may not be able to breastfeed because the milk ducts would have been severed behind the nipple. You won't know this however, until you speak with your plastic surgeon.
Dr. Cynara Coomer is an assistant professor of surgery specializing in breast health and breast cancer surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. She is a FOX News Health contributor providing medical expertise on a variety of topics in cancer research with a focus on women's health, breast diseases and tips for healthy breasts at any age. If you have a question email her at DrCoomer@foxnews.com