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Debunked: 11 Myths About Cancer You Probably Believe

In the modern world, with the advancement in technology and healthcare, the likelihood of dying from cancer is dropping. Proper awareness and easy accessibility of medications through online pharmacies such as emeds have made an enormous difference. Cancer does not always kill. Fantastic progress has been achieved over the last few decades, and countless people once diagnosed with cancer are now living healthy lives. Timely diagnosis is crucial. There are always symptoms of the disease, which are overlooked by the person but are necessary for early diagnosis and successful treatment

Certain myths about how cancer starts and spreads become popular primarily due to being rooted in old theories. However, to offer better support to those fighting cancer around us, we must dispel all these myths. 

Myth: No family history, no cancer

Fact: This is false. Recent studies prove that people diagnosed with cancer at a point in their lives is 38%. This does not require any family history as the cause is most likely to be the genetic changes and others ranging between natural ageing, exposure to environmental factors, our daily routine, eating habits, lack of exercise and exposure to radiation, etc. 

Myth: Family history — highly probable candidate for cancer

Fact: This is uncertain. As mentioned above, genetic mutations and other environmental factor are major contributors to the risk of cancer. Only a short per cent of 5-10 cancers result from mutations inherited from parents, and multiple family members usually develop the same type of cancer. We know these cancers as ‘familial’ and ‘hereditary’ cancers.

Myth: Most breast lumps are cancerous 

Fact: On the contrary, noncancerous changes, cysts or other similar conditions form numerous lumps found in women’s breasts. However, it is essential that you timely inform your doctor of any notable changes such as discharge from the nipple, which can lead to the diagnosis of cancer at an earlier stage.

Myth: Antiperspirants cause cancer

Fact: No study adds to prove this statement. Though, some reports suggest that these chemicals in the deodorants and antiperspirants are harmful (parabens, aluminium compounds etc.), which absorb into the body. However, there is no established link between these, and the cause of cancer and evidence from clinical studies shows no apparent relation. 

If you still worry such chemicals can harm your overall health, consider investing in products free of them.

Myth: Hair dyes and cancer

Fact: Seriously? Hair dyes? The concern is understandable given the chemicals, but there is no scientific evidence proving hair dyes’ connection with cancer. The amount used in one application is very minimal to be causing such adverse reactions. However, people regularly exposed to large quantities of dyes and similar chemicals, usually barbers or hairdressers, depict an increased risk of bladder cancer. 

Myth: Herbal products; a cure for cancer

Fact: Some herbs under allopathic medicine are used to curb the side effects of the treatment, but no particular study declares herbal medicine as effective in treating cancer. Moreover, several herbal products are considered harmful with ongoing radiation or chemotherapy, as they can interfere with the course of the treatment. Before considering using any homeopathic medicines, don’t forget to consult your doctor.

Myth: Sugar and cancer are buddies

Fact: Researches are showing how cancer cells consume more sugar than normal cells. However, there is no sign of these events, natural sugar or artificial sweeteners, increasing the risk of developing or worsening cancer. Nonetheless, dietary product high in sugar cause excessive weight gain, increasing the risk of developing diabetes and, consequently, some types of cancers related to it.

Myth: Heating food in microwave ovens causes cancer

Fact: There are two types of containers and wraps; those labelled safe for microwaving and others not. If you are careful enough and only use containers intended for the microwave, you are good to go. However, you should avoid using ice cream tubs, disposable containers and similar items in microwaves as they are usually not heat-friendly, they could melt and potentially leak chemicals in our food.

Myth: Treatment is for the young

Fact: False. Every case is unique, and the doctors base the treatment on the type and progression of cancer and the ability of a candidate to withstand the treatment successfully. It has nothing to do with age, as innumerable people receive treatment in their 90s. The eligibility criteria majorly depend on the lifestyle choices of candidates in which some 70-year-olds may be better than many 40-year-olds. Other than that, doctors appropriately modify treatment specifically for every individual; the doses, intervals, intensity.

Myth: Treatment weakens your immune system

Fact: The element of truth here is too small to be considered. Indeed, chemotherapy compromises an individual’s immune system. But chemotherapy is not the only treatment option for cancer, and this field has made great strides over several years. Immunotherapy is known to work per the immune cells to target cancer cells specifically, unlike chemotherapy and radiation therapy which cannot distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells. 

We understand where the myth made its way from. However, along with cancer cells’ ability to successfully disguise themselves, the diagnosis of the disease in later stages makes aggressive treatment the only choice. The disease spreads to different parts of the body, already weakening it and the severe side effects of the treatment raise doubts rather than expectations in the treatment’s effectiveness.

Myth: Cell phones, computers, and microwave ovens cause cancer through radiation

Fact: Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Chernobyl. The innumerable cases in the disaster’s aftermath that struck these cities were because of the unmentionable amount of radiations. Since these incidents, radiation is linked as one of the many causes of cancer. But as a matter of fact, it is essential to understand that the difference in the amount of radiation emitted by our cell phones and computers is in no way near comparable to that in the mentioned cities. These machines use very low frequency of radio waves which cannot cause genetic mutations leading to cancer development.

Most myths root from lack of awareness and knowledge and pass on from person to person. With easy accessibility to technology and information, people are getting more knowledgeable, and these myths are becoming unpopular.

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Naya Daur