What do you know about cancer and is it true or just a myth?
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and as such many people want to know about it; what causes it, what treatments are available and whether they can prevent themselves from it?
With the high number of people seeking information on cancer, there are very many sources that provide such information yet not all are accurate. These sources are partly, what have led to the many misconceptions that people have about this disease.
Find out some of the myths about cancer
- Myth: If someone in your family has cancer then you will get cancer and if no one in your family has had cancer, you are safe.
Truth: A family history with cancer does not guarantee that you will get cancer, however, it can increase your risk of developing cancer. Therefore, you do not have to live in fear of getting this disease because you have a family member who has suffered from it.
- Myth: Cancer is contagious
Truth: Cancer is not transmitted from one person to another. Some viruses that are transmitted from one person to another such as Hepatitis B and C and HPV can however, increase your risk for certain cancers.
- Myth: Eating sugar makes cancer grow faster.
Truth: Cancer cells absorb more sugar than normal cells however, there is no specific scientific evidence that sweet foods can make cancer worse.
- Myth: Artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.
Truth: No research studies have proved that artificial sweeteners cause cancer.
- Myth: All cancers are the same and can be treated in the same way.
Truth: There are over 100 types of cancers and even though they have a common trait to grow rapidly and uncontrollably, spreading to surrounding tissues, they are different in that they affect people differently making their treatment different.
- Myth: Surgery tumour biopsy makes cancer spread.
Truth: Surgery is one of the major treatment options for cancer and if the cancer is detected early, surgery can completely cure the cancer.
- Myth: Only smokers get lung cancer.
Truth: Even though smokers have a high risk of developing lung cancer, non-smokers can also get lung cancer due to other factors such as a family history with lung cancer and exposure to toxic substances like radon.
- Myth: Cancer is a modern disease.
Truth: Because most people begun to know about cancer over the last century, it was thought to be a disease brought about by technology and modernisation. Well, the truth is that cancer begun thousands of years ago.
- Myth: Cancer is very painful.
Truth: One of the reasons why most people get diagnosed with cancer in the late stages is because most cancers do not manifest symptoms until they have advanced.Therefore, it is not true to generalise that cancer is very painful. Most people actually get pain as a side effect of cancer treatments like chemo and radiotherapy.
- Myth: Cancer treatment hurts more than it cures.
Truth: This myth stems from the side effects that people undergoing cancer treatment get. Another factor that might have led people to believe this myth is the survival rate which is very low for cancer diagnosed in the late stage. However, we need to know the facts, that people diagnosed with cancer in its early stage have a higher survival rate because the cancer is much easier to control and contain which leads to better chances of curing it.
- Myth: Cell phones, computers and microwave ovens cause cancer.
Truth: High-energy radiation has been proven to cause cancer as it alters the molecular and chemical bonds as well as damage molecules such as DNA which can lead to cancer. However, not study or research has proven that mobile phones, microwaves and computers cause cancer. These devices are low-powered and transmit extremely low frequency.
There are several other myths that people around the world have about cancer; some as a result of false information and others due to traditional believes. Before you take information and live by it, do your own research. Stay informed.