Some famous statements are not scientifically proven but still accepted as they are linked to old theories. But when the subject is cancer, such wrong ideas can lead to needless worries and hinder our decisions related to treatment.
Reading this blog until the end will present the latest science-based information debunking popular myths and misconceptions about cancer.
Famous Myths and Misconceptions about Cancer
Cancer is a death statement - How long a cancer patient may survive or die from the disease depends on several factors. It includes whether cancer is growing slowly or rapidly, which part of the body is affected by cancer, how much has the cancer spread in the body, whether treating the patient will help him survive, and more. Also, many patients who are cured of cancer don't talk about the disease, while deaths due to cancer get noticed fast, adding to the negative image.
- Eating sugar will worsen the case Reason for this concept stems from the fact that cancer cells use a lot of glucose for their growth. Even if someone cuts down on sugar, these cells can get their energy from other sources. Reducing sugar intake has its own health benefits, but prevention of cancer isn’t among them.
- Artificial sweeteners cause cancer - Medical professionals have conducted research on artificial sweeteners, and there has been no evidence that it causes cancer. Like hair dyes, it may be just that millions use them and in some cancer is seen, it is not directly associated with their use.
- Cancer is contagious - Cancer is not a contagious disease that spreads from one person to another. During cancer treatment, patients on chemotherapy with reduced immunity may be asked to isolate to prevent infections. Even before organ transplantation from a cancer survivor, there are strict protocols to ensure they are cancer-free before voluntary donation.
- Cancer biopsy leads to the spread of cancer in the body - Cancer cells are already in contact with the blood stream, the body's immunity confining them to that area. Radiologists/ doctors who perform the biopsy do this under Ultrasound/ CT scan guidance. This minimizes spill and ensures that they get adequate material.
Again, patients may have some swelling/ color changes at the biopsy site, but that's only inflammation from the procedure.
- Cell Phone causes cancer – Cellphone emits a very low level of non-ionizing radiation, there is no evidence of cellphones causing cancer. You must understand that cancer is majorly caused due to non-healthy lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, or genetic mutation. To know more about how cancer spreads in the body & how it grows, you can connect with a medical expert at the best Cancer Hospital in Kochi,Kerala.
- Cancer comes in heredity – A very minor percentage of cancer is inherited from parents. Just 5 to 10 percent of cancers is caused due to harmful genes passed in heredity. Such cancers are called ‘familial’ or ‘hereditary’ cancer. One with a strong family history of cancers, with multiple persons affected at a young age, can get a genetic testing done to diagnose if they carry heredity cancer.
- Deodorants cause breast cancer – Based on the research, there is no evidence that deodorants will cause breast cancer. If you are interested to know more on this topic, you can visit the research page of the National Cancer Institute.
- Using hair dye increases the risk of cancer - There is no scientific evidence proving personal hair dye usage causes cancer. However, some of the latest studies suggest that hairdressers who are regularly exposed to chemicals & hair dyes are more likely to develop bladder cancer.
- Following a specific diet can prevent cancer - No food has been proven to prevent cancer. Better to avoid any drastic changes in diet and continue with what the body is familiar with. Balanced diet with a healthy mix of all essential elements is the key.
- Regular blood tests and scans essential to detect cancer - Only few cancers like breast, cervical cancer, colon and to some extent prostate cancer are amenable for screening. However, even in normal cases, screening tests should be done at regular intervals. If there are suspicious symptoms, tests under the guidance of a doctor are advised.
Such myths & misconceptions may drive you in confusion while taking decisions for your cancer treatment. However, if you still find it tough to accept these popular ideas as myths & misconceptions, you may consult the best oncologist in Kochi, Kerala