(October is observed as the breast cancer awareness month. FIT will be bringing you a story every day - from stories of survivors, to latest in medical technology, to treatment options, to food and alternative medicine.)
There is no doubt that social media has made our lives easy in many ways, we get all the news and information at our fingertips. But it’s gotten that much more difficult to differentiate the truth from the fake news.
Those WhatsApp forwards that you share, have you ever tried to find out how authentic the information in them is?
We fact-check such health-related messages and provide the correct advice in consultation with doctors and experts.
After actress Sonali Bendre was diagnosed with cancer, several messages regarding cancer and how to avoid getting the disease, started circulating on WhatsApp. One such forward on breast cancer reads as below:
The text says that it’s a public service message from Tata Cancer Hospital. When FIT contacted the hospital to verify if this was indeed sent by them, they said,
Tata Memorial Hospital doesn’t circulate any health-related messages or advisories on social media.
We reached out to Dr Pramod Kumar Julka, Senior Director, Oncology, at Max Hospital, to fact-check the contents of this message. He says:
None of these points have anything to do with breast cancer. They’re all myths.
The colour of your bra, whether black or white, has nothing to do with breast cancer, Dr Julka adds.
And when it comes to wearing a bra while sleeping, it is advised to go to sleep without one. But that, again, has no connection to breast cancer.
Deodorants or antiperspirants shouldn’t be applied directly on the skin but on your clothes. However, neither are related to developing breast cancer.
Dr Julka says that there are countless such health advises on WhatsApp but most, like this one, are unverified and have no truth to them.
Causes of Breast Cancer
Doctors say the exact cause of any cancer is still unknown. But research points to a few reasons why one may develop breast cancer.
- It can be genetic (though chances of this are very low)
- Hormonal imbalance
- Lifestyle habits
- Lumps in breasts
- Your period started at an early age (earlier than usual)
- If you don’t breastfeed
- If menopause occurs after the age of 55
Any health-related message, advice or remedy that you read on social media need not be true. So, think and verify them before forwarding or following these tips in your daily lives.
(This article was first published on FitHindi. It has been translated to English by Sameeksha Khare.)