Ten Myths About Breasts That Need to Be Put to Rest

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For something that, biologically speaking, only exists for the benefit of babies, we sure have an obsession with boobs. Real boobs, fake boobs, side boobs, body parts that LOOK like boobs (I'm guessing that this lady's knees are a 32G), there are so many facets of boob-dom that it's hard to keep track.

With the Internet, dumb middle school rumors and old wive's tales, a lot of misinformation about the chest-icles have been spread. Here are ten "facts" about breasts that are way off.

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1. "Sleeping With a Bra on Will Give You Breast Cancer"

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Breast surgeon and associated professor at the NYU Langone Medical Center, Deborah Axelrod MD, debunked this myth for Shape Magazine. This misconception came from the 1995 book Dressed to Kill, which Axelrod says has no scientific evidence.

Another myth is that wearing a bra to bed will keep your boobs perky. Axelrod told Shape that, again, there is no scientific proof to this at all. Science, guys. Science.

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2. "Lumps Are the Only Symptom for Breast Cancer"

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First of all, a lump in your breast does not automatically equal cancer. It could be a cyst, a benign tumor, or a number of other conditions. You're (probably) not a doctor, so if you notice a lump, see a doctor. 

While lumps are the most common symptom of breast cancer, other symptoms include:

-Pain or swelling 

-Redness

-Dimpling of the skin 

-Thickening of the skin, like the skin of an orange

-Nipples pointing inward 

-Nipple discharge (not breast milk)

And of course, some breast cancer doesn't have any noticeable symptoms, which is why regularly seeing your doctor is so important for prevention. 


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3. "Breast Cancer Is a Woman's Disease"

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Well, it's MOSTLY a woman's disease. Breast cancer is very, very rare for men, but it does happen to a small percentage (less than 1% of all breast cancer cases, according to BreastCancer.org). Men have breast tissue, but unlike women, they don't have the hormones that turn them into full breasts. The more you know!*

*This list is in no way affiliated with NBC but I'll keep dreaming.

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4. "Breasts Are Supposed to Be Even!"

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Asymmetrical breasts are more common than not, according to Richard J. Bruneteau, MD. The difference might not be very noticeable (a couple of centimeters) or one can be a whole cup size bigger than the other. Everyone's different! 

However, a sudden increase of size in one breast might be a sign of an infection, cyst, or possibly cancer. Make sure to see your doctor if you notice any changes. 

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5. "Losing Weight Will Automatically Make Your Boobs Shrink"

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Again, everyone is different. It's true that for many women, the breasts will be the first place where she notices her weight loss. For others, there might be little to no change. 

It all depends on the landscape of the woman's breast tissue. If her breasts are dense, it means that her breasts have more non-fatty tissues than fatty tissues. If a woman's breasts are dense, she may not notice any shrinking from weight loss, since there's less fat in there to begin with. 

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6. "Small Boobs Don't Need a Bra"

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For your own comfort and health, all women should wear a sports bra while working out, regardless of their cup size. The Huffington Post talked to Bobbie Smith, a bra fitting expert, about the importance of sports bras even for small-chested women. Smith says that sports bra helps protect your ligaments from straining. Other benefits of a sports bra: It prevents chaffing and helps manage your sweat (Shape). 

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7. "Breasts Stop Growing When You're a Teen (or After Puberty Ends)"

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80% of women wear the wrong bra size, according to Washington's Top News. One of the reasons is because a woman's breasts can continue growing into her twenties. If you've only had one bra fitting and it was while you were still a teen, it's time for an update. Check out this infographic and see if you're part of the majority or not. Once you notice the signs of a bra that doesn't fit, you'll notice it everywhere. I mean this in the most non-creepy way possible (I think). 

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8. "Breast Feeding Makes Them Saggy"

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Close, but no cigar (side note, please avoid cigars if you are pregnant). A 2008 study by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal concluded that pregnancy makes the breasts saggier, not the physical act of breast feeding. 

Breasts can grow during pregnancy, but they don't stay that way. Mary Jane Minkin, MD of the Yale School of Medicine says that post pregnancy weight loss and deflation can make them sag. A way to minimize breast sag is to keep your pregnancy weight at range that is healthy for both you and the baby. How can you figure out what the healthy range is? By talking to your doctor, of course. Thanks, Doc! 

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9. "This Lotion/Oil/Food/Wish From a Genie Will Make Them Grow"

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Kylie Jenner loves boasting about the products she uses to develop her Kardashian curves, but they have absolutely no scientific support, according to Tracy Pfeifer of the Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. Keep in mind that Kylie is only 18 and, as previously mentioned, a woman's body can continue developing into her twenties. 

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10. "Men Only Love Big Boobs!"

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Not every heterosexual guy is the same. One might be attracted to large breasts, one might be attracted to smaller breasts, one might be more attracted to legs. You can't lump all men into a group like that. It's almost like they're complex human beings or something? 

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