Table Of Content

Myths And Facts About Cancer

Cancer is denoted by unregulated and abnormal cell proliferation. It can begin anywhere in the body and spread to other body parts. There is a lot of cancer information available, yet so many unproven stories and myths that it can be difficult to separate the realities from the fiction. Contact your health care provider if you have any concerns about cancer. Here are some of the most prevalent cancer myths and beliefs have been debunked.

Myth: Cancer is contagious
Fact: Cancer is not contagious; it cannot be transmitted from one person to another. It can happen only in the case of an organ or tissue transplant where the donor has a history of malignancy. However, before proceeding with a transplant, doctors check the donor's medical history. Cancers may be caused by viruses and bacteria that can transmit from person to person. For instance, the Human papillomavirus causes cervical cancer, while Hepatitis B and C viruses can cause liver cancer. Bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori have been linked to stomach cancer.

Myth: Only smokers get lung cancer
Fact: While smokers are at significant risk of developing lung cancer, they are not the only ones. Your genetic make-up or family history might influence lung cancer risk. Asbestos, radon, uranium, arsenic, and secondhand smoking can raise the risk of developing lung cancer. The lung tissue scar induced by previous diseases or infections can potentially develop lung cancer.

Myth: Herbal Medicines can cure the cancer
Fact: Cancer cannot be cured or treated using herbal medicines. Alternative therapies like acupuncture, meditation, and yoga are believed to help with the psychological stress associated with cancer. Although herbal remedies may assist cancer patients in managing side effects, no herbal drugs have been scientifically proven effective in cancer treatment. Some herbal products can be harmful during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they can interfere with the treatment of cancer. So, consult your doctor if you take herbal medicines or other alternative therapies.

Myth: Eating sugar makes cancer worse
Fact: All our cells consume glucose for growth. Although researches have shown that cancer cells consume more sugar than normal cells for their growth, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make cancer worse or stop eating sugar will shrink the cancer cells. Normally, a high-sugar diet may contribute to obesity which is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer.

Myth: Cell phones, microwave ovens, and computer cause cancer
Fact: Cell phones, microwave ovens, and computers emit low-frequency radiation waves (non-ionizing radiation) that does not cause cancer and harm genes. Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, can raise the risk of developing cancer. People should be careful in areas with high radiation levels, such as x-ray rooms or industrial sites. Typically, these places are restricted and designated with 'radioactive hazard' signs.

Myth: Hair dye use can increase the risk of cancer
Fact: There is no conclusive evidence that use of hair dye increases cancer risk. According to certain research, hairdressers and barbers often exposed to excessive amounts of hair dye and other chemical products may be at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer. However, it is unknown how much hair dye may enhance this cancer risk.

Myth: Superfoods prevent cancer
Fact: Blueberries, beetroot, broccoli, garlic, and green tea are cancer-preventing superfoods. These foods contain antioxidants, which help in the removal of toxins from the body. It may assist in boosting the immune system and reducing the risk of certain malignancies. These foods are beneficial to your health and found to be helpful in fighting against cancer. There is no single meal or food group that can give adequate cancer protection.

Myth: If you do not have a family history of cancer, you are cancer-free.
Fact: People believe that they have no family history of cancer means they are very unlikely to develop it. In reality, only 5 - 10% of cancer cases are caused by inherited genetic abnormalities. The remaining cancer instances are caused by the individual's lifestyle and environment, such as smoking or exposure to cancer-causing substances. People with a family history of cancer should get screened periodically and live a healthy lifestyle because they are at a higher risk of developing cancer.

Myth: Antiperspirants or deodorants can cause cancer.
Fact: There is no conclusive proof that using underarm antiperspirants or deodorants causes cancer. These products contain hazardous ingredients such as aluminum compounds and parabens, which can be absorbed or enter the body through skin. However, it cannot cause cancer. If you're still afraid that your underarm antiperspirant or deodorant may raise your risk of cancer, look for products that don't contain these chemicals.

Myth: Radiation therapy makes you radioactive.
Fact: People who receive external beam radiation therapy do not become radioactive. It happens because radiation does not remain in the body during or after treatment. During internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy), implants are used as it may cause some people to be radioactive for a short time. If you have any doubts about radiation, you should consult with your doctor before discontinuing treatment.

Myth: Bad thoughts or negative attitudes will develop cancer and death
Fact: There is no convincing scientific evidence to prove that a person’s attitude reduces the risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you've been diagnosed with cancer, you're probably feeling sad, angry, scared, or discouraged. Perhaps people with a positive attitude try to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help them cope up with cancer.

Myth: All lumps are cancerous
Fact: All lumps are not cancerous. The majority of lumps found during screenings and medical tests are benign or indicative of other conditions such as a cyst. A physician will do tests to establish whether a growth is benign, precancerous, or cancerous.

Myth: Benign Prostatic enlargement (BPH) is a risk factor for Prostate cancer
Fact: Men will develop benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) with age. BPE does not increase the risk of prostate cancer, it can cause symptoms that can affect your quality of life. Prostate cancer and BPE may co-exist and which is seen frequently.


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