History is the bane of most modern theories, but does that mean history is always right? In a lot of things today, there are certain misconceptions that have been allowed to stand the course of time. Even though most of them has not been disproved by science, that doesn’t do much to stop people from still believing in such.
One of such things that enjoys too much of myths and misconceptions right now is the concept of cancer. Having lived with a lovely person who not only braved, but conquered cancer, I have been able to see things in new light.
Today, we are going to be debunking some of those rumors you might have heard and believed about cancer. Even if they are things you’ve seated deep into your hearts (or even told other people), this is your chance to take an eraser to such thoughts. Without much ado:
All Cancers Will Kill You
Cancer is a destructive growth of cells in the body, and it is expected that this leads to death. However, the improvements in cancer research and technology has meant that we have seen lesser and lesser deaths from this menace in the past century.
Science has reached a place where, according to statistics from the USA, the 5-year survival rate for some cases (breast, thyroids, etc.) have climbed up to an amazing 90 percent. With a 9 out of 10 chance of survival on some of the most common cancer problems, I say not all cancers are death sentences.
Eating Sugar Makes My Cancer Worse
Maybe you have read, or been told of, a medical research which justifies that cancerous cells use more sugar (glucose) in the body than every other cell, and thus, came to such a conclusion.
There is good news for you, yet. There has been no study to support that eating more and more of sugar would make your cancer worse. Likewise, there has been no study to make you think eating less of sugar would make your cancer disappear into oblivion.
While a diet high in sugar can lead to other health concerns, it sure doesn’t have anything to do with your cancer.
Cancer is Contagious
When I hear this one, I usually pause to think “Are we still talking about cancer or the common cold?” Cancer is not a disease that can easily be passed from one person to the other.
Unlike most contagious diseases, cancer operates at the cellular level. From there, I don’t see any way it should interact with the body fluids, or be present externally so much that it can easily be spread to other people. The only medically proven case where cancer can be considered ‘contagious’ is if there is an organ-transplant from a donor (who has history of cancer) to a fresh host. Even at that, the probability of risk stands at 2 out of every 10,000 transplants
Cell Phones are a Prime Cause of Cancer
If we are to go by the numerous broadcast messages we get, then this would be true. However, if we would take the word of some of the best medical researchers in the world for it, this is extremely not true.
What makes cancer happen are the mutations in genes. Your phone can just transmit a kind of energy with low frequency, definitely not strong enough to damage any of your cells.
Deodorants Can Cause Cancer
I suppose that if someone would make a list of all the wrong things people think cause cancer, there would be no more fun left on this earth. Deodorants and antiperspirants have been the subject of bashing from some people who believe these chemicals have a hand in cancer.
Well, not according to some studies which shows that none of these chemicals have the tendency to contribute to changes in cell structure and arrangement.
A Tumor is A Cancer
This is the same thing as saying every superhero is Superman. Is that true? Definitely not, and so is this misconception. The word ‘tumor’ is used to refer to any abnormal growth in any part of the body, which could either be internally or externally.
These tumors can then be classified as either benign or malignant. While the former is usually no trouble (but could become malignant if not properly taken care of), the latter type of tumor is the only one with a risk of cancer attached to it.
I Can Inherit Cancer
There is no one answer to this myth, but one answer does take credence over the other. Unlike some other diseases (HIV/AIDS, etc.), there is a very little chance that one would inherit a disease such as cancer.
In fact, less than 10% of all the cases of cancer have been from people who inherited it from someone in the family. While 10% might look like much, it really does pale in comparison when you look at the number of cases recorded yearly.
Cancers are One and The Same
Personally, I don’t blame people for this kind of misconceptions. All of those cancer awareness programs are usually focused on ‘how to prevent cancer,’ the medical programs are themed around ‘how to cure cancer’ and such things. It is just expected that it looks like these cancers are one and the same.
However, we have over 100 different kinds of cancer. There is almost a cancer for all the body parts – both internally and externally. Anywhere cells are present; such a location in the body runs the risk of its own kind of cancer
Cancer Treatments are Painful
Not only do some think the treatment is painful, others are of the opinion that the treatment is also pointless. This is not so. It might have been true some thirty years ago, when science was yet to reach this level, but now, its advancement has done a lot to help us.
Some people even think the treatments are pointless. Considering the fact that about 90% of children who had leukemia then died from their diseases, and 80% of them now survive, I wouldn’t say so.
Looking through this list, there is a possibility that you also find one or more of the misconceptions you have been having on cancer in there. This list was not made in a bid to shame the ideas or mindset of anyone. Rather, it is geared towards properly educating the audience on the topic of cancer, one truth at a time. If you feel we have missed one common misconception, the tenth slot on this list is yours. Let’s get talking in the comments area.