Cancer – 20+ Common Myths Broken

Similar to many diseases, many myths surrounding cancer are also circulating among patients as well as common man. It’s a habit of a group of persons to circulate wrong messages about something which people fear most. Many of such myths are enough to kill a person or deprive him of sleep and hunger. It’s true, cancer is a dreadful disease. Yet certain myths similar to superstitions are definitely to be broken. And here are a few.

Myth 1: Certain food items can prevent cancer

No food items can prevent cancer. It’s only a myth that certain expensive food items prevent and resist cancer. Yet fiber rich food, vegetables, fruits, leafy vegetables etc on regular use and regular exercises can reduce the probability of cancer. As per studies, turmeric can reduce the chances for the occurrence of cancer, but it can never prevent the disease from occurring. Also read: Cancer resistive food items.

Myth 2: If cancer is affected, death definitely follows 

Yes, it is true cancer can take one’s life if it has reached the final stages. Majority people believe that if it affects one time, it stays with you whole through your life. For the same reason, many people ignore good treatment believing that the disease won’t be cured completely. Many people may discontinue treatment in the middle and go in search of some miraculous plants or medicine. In true sense, they reduce their chances to get cured, due to the false thoughts they hold firmly in mind.

Medicine has advanced very much and so is cancer treatment too. Not only that, chances for recovery much higher than one decade or two. So those patients who hesitate to take treatment or discontinue in the middle are doing a suicidal act.

Myth 3: Radiation of mobile phones can cause cancer

Scientific research works and experiments have been done multiple times in this field. Yet it is still to be proved. X-ray or C-T Scan used once or twice can never lead to cancer. But regular use of both can lead to cancer, as per studies. Though it’s still to be proved mobile radiation can lead to cancer, we cannot fully diminish the cancer chances for the frequent use of mobile phones. So it’s always better to use speaker phones or ear phones for longer conversations.

Myth 4: Biopsy can spread cancer to other body parts

Due to this myth, very often the disease in the early stage goes undetected and when it reaches final stage, nothing can be done. Biopsy is only a technique to detect the disease. If done in scientific way, it reduces the chances of spreading of cancer. Earlier to study a tumour, a part is cut and sent for diagnosis. But now medical science is far advanced and only a few cells are needed for the diagnosis of a disease. So chances are nil for the spread of cancer cells through biopsy technique.

Myth 5: All cancers are same

Many people still believe that all cancers are same and treatments also follow the same method. But it’s not true. Cancer can be affected due to many reasons and affect different body parts as well. Treatment is given as per the characteristic of the disease. If big sized organs are affected, symptoms are not easily visible. It may take more time, and the cancer may advance to its serious stages. That’s why certain cancers are really life-taking.

Myth 6: Cancer is a hereditary disease

There are many diseases, which passes over from one generation to the next. Yet cancer is not a hereditary or contagious disease. Yet there are chances for 6-8% to transfer to next generation. Hence it implies, cancer can affect anyone at any time. Till now researches are going on, and many reasons are still to be found. Bad health habits and life style is the main reason behind cancer.

Myth 7: Cancer treatment can reduce the quality of life

Effective cancer treatments definitely have some side effects. Chemo therapy and Radio therapy are the most commonly used treatments for cancer. Cancer cells are destroyed in Chemo therapy, which may result in hair loss. It can also adversely affect nerves in some cases.

Myth 8: Only regular medical checkup can detect cancer earlier

Only 4 types of cancer can be detected earlier due to regular medical checkups. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and mouth ulcer belong to this category. They show clear symptoms earlier. There are a few cancers which rarely shows symptoms, and it’s not easy to detect them earlier.

Myth 9: Use of sugar and other sweet products can lead to cancer

As per researches conducted by Food Safety Assessment and International Research, sugar can never directly cause cancer. Yet artificial sweeteners like saccharine can lead to cancer. Excess use of sugar can lead to obesity and many other disease conditions. This can eventually lead to the growth of cancer cells in human body.

Myth 10: All cancer tumours are harmful

Most of us fear that all tumours lead to cancer. As per latest studies, all tumours are not harmful. Some cells multiply itself and spread to surrounding areas. Such cells affect other body parts as well, and they are harmful. Yet some cells degenerate slowly and never affect other cells. Such tumours can also cause cancer, but not harmful leading to death.

Myth 11: Chances of cancer are less in people with fair skin

It’s only a myth. In reality it is just opposite. Dark skinned people have fewer chances for cancer comparing with fair skinned people. UV rays mostly affect white skinned people most, if compared with people with dark complexion. Melanin pigment is present more in dark skinned people, which reduces the reaction of UV rays on skin.

Myth 12: If cancer is affected once, it will visit the patient frequently

Cancer can happen to any person at any point of time. Future can never be predicted and precautions can never be feasible always. Cancer is the mischief of a single cell in any part of human body, which slowly affects the entire body and its functions. In short, cancer starts with madness of a single cell in the body. So we can neglect the chances of appearance of cancer for a second time. Second time, it may be a derivative of first one. But it happens only after 10 or 20 years mostly. In many occasions, we may not detect it earlier. That’s why it’s told cancer is unpredictable.

Myth 13: Can smoke and dust cause cancer?

Smoke and dust are strong agents of lung cancer. Smoke can come from any source, not only beedis or cigarettes. Chances are more for people who work in smoke and dust conditions. Air pollution due to vehicles has increased manifold in the recent times, which increases the chances of cancer.

Myth 14: Is cancer a contagious disease?

Till now, no research works have proved that cancer a contagious disease. You can serve food with cancer patient from same plate, you can touch him and can sleep with him as well. Cancer will not spread in any of the above mentioned ways. 

Myth 15: If you serve vegetarian food only, cancer will never affect you

Cancer can affect any person belonging to any age group. It’s not food, but certain ingredients present in the food which causes cancer. But most studies point to the fact that vegetarians have less chances of cancer, comparing with those who eat non-vegetarian food on regular basis. For instance, intestine cancer is mostly seen in non-vegetarians if compared with vegetarians.

Myth 16: Exercises can never reduce chances of cancer

Physical exercises reduce the chances of cancer – researches say. Exercises increase metabolic activities, and also improve the spread of estrogen and insulin hormones in human body. That may be the reason why it’s told exercises are good for human body. Exercises can reduce the chances of intestine cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and Endometrial Cancer. Try to do some manual exercise at least one hour every day.

Myth 17: Hair dyes and sprays can cause cancer

Some cosmetic products can lead to cancer – some studies point to this fact. Certain cancer causing chemicals are found in several cosmetic products, and their frequent use can lead to this disease. Certain cloth dyes can also cause cancer. But method of using such dyes and time span are also other important criteria.

Myth 18: Infection can never lead to cancer

We have a habit to neglect infections. For the main reason, most of us hesitate to consult doctor and take treatment. Infections can form one major reason for ovarian and related cancer conditions. Helicobacter pylori found in damaged food can lead to intestine cancer. Viral infection can lead to liver cancer. Hepatitis-B virus gives more chances for liver cancer.

Myth 19: Barbeque can lead to cancer

Melting of meat can change its DNA structure – scientific researches prove this fact. That’s why it’s told grilled meat is not good for health. As change of DNA structure of meat can cause cancer, it’s always a better choice to avoid such dishes to maximum. Though Barbeque food items only gives a less percentage chances of cancer comparing with other factors, it’s an unhealthy practice to consume these food items regularly.

Myth 20: Breast cancer affects ladies only

It’s one of the very common myths circulating in social media and among common man. Though breast cancer is very common in ladies, it’s also seen in men though in rare cases. In fact breast cancer in men is more harmful comparing with women. Breast muscles in men are small comparing with women, that’s the main reason. In both genders, symptoms are the same. Treatment process is also the same.

Myth 21: Yoga and meditation never keep cancer at bay

Physical and mental disciple is needed for sound body and health. Regular yoga and meditation can reduce the chances of cancer to great extent. But it never implies that cancer can never be treated and cured with yoga and meditation. Also, Yoga can never be a shield to those undisciplined people with a bad life style, less-disciplined diet and smoking habits.

Myth 22: Those people with high immunity have fewer chances for cancer

There are many cancer cells present in human body. But they may not have an atmosphere to grow and multiply. That’s why cancer doesn’t affect all people. It never implies that people with high defense and immunity power have fewer chances for this disease. But those people who take medicines which can reduce body’s immunity power, chances are more to affect cancer. For example: A person with HIV Virus. Those persons who have undergone kidney transplant may need to take medicines to reduce immunity power. Such patients have more chances of cancer. 

Image source: Pixabay

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Sandy

A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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