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No, ‘Breast Sucking’ Does NOT Cause Cancer!

Source: The conversation 3 mins read

Claim: According to a 2017 report in The Chronicle Newspaper which has resurfaced on social media, sucking a woman’s breast can cause breast cancer.

According to health experts, there is no known cause of breast cancer; therefore sucking a woman’s breasts cannot be linked to the development of cancer. 

Full Text

A 2017 publication by The Chronicle newspaper has resurfaced and is making rounds on social media suggesting that a woman can get breast cancer if her partner sucks it.

Image source: WhatsApp

The image was also shared  on Twitter in November 2017 and recently by Johnnie Hughes, broadcast Journalist at TV3, on May 15th 2021.

Verification

According to the report which was published by the Chronicle newspaper in 2017, the claim that breast sucking causes cancer was made by Madam Adwoa Afriyie Benuako, the Head of Education at Breast Care International. 

“The breast is a delicate part of the woman’s body, which must be treated and handled with care and caution. It is so fragile that when sucked and pressed, it endangers the organ,” Benuako is quoted by the newspaper to have said.

The report continues, without quoting Benuako, “…argued that most of the breast cancer diseases worldwide, according to available research, are attributable to the sucking of the victims breasts by their husbands and fiances.”

Source: The Chronicle Newspaper

However, Benuako told Dubawa she did not make the claim as reported by the newspaper. 

“He interviewed me alright and I gave him an audience but he reported what he wanted to report. So that is why we are saying that not all information being put out is true. This information they have tagged my name on is false….Because of this, the paper was sold like it was an essential commodity, ” Benuako said. 

She added that it is not true that breast sucking can cause cancer.

“As of now, we can’t point to anything as a cause of breast cancer and researchers are still working on it and to point out that breast sucking is a cause of breast cancer, it’s not true. People are just making up their own stories,” Benuako said.

Dubawa also contacted Dr. Bismark Dwobeng, a Radiation Oncologist at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital to find out more on the matter. According to Dr. Dwobeng, sucking a woman’s breast will not result in breast cancer.

“It’s not true. In the first place, it’s impossible to talk about a cause for any cancer.”

Dubawa probed further to find out if any type of nipple play, rough or otherwise which may involve biting or intense sucking, could result in cancer but the answer was a firm ‘no’. 

The Connecticut Department of Health in their “Breast Health, Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Symptoms, Breast Cancer Screening, and Resources” report have similarly stated that “bumping, bruising, pinching, or touching the breast does not cause breast cancer.”

Additionally, it states that medical experts do not know exactly what causes breast cancer but have however identified age, family history, personal history of cancer, race and ethnicity, not having children and hormone replacement therapy as risk factors for breast cancer development in women.

Conclusion

Sucking or playing with a woman’s breast will not cause breast cancer.

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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