Cancer Myths: 5 Common Misconceptions Debunked

Misconceptions related to the deadly disease like cancer can lead to an increase in worry and may further deteriorate the health of a patient.

Misconceptions related to the deadly disease like cancer can lead to an increase in worry and may further deteriorate the health of a patient. Hence, it is essential to get rid of such rumors.

Myth 1: Cancer Is Contagious in Nature.
Most people have the misconception that cancer is contagious, and spreads readily via communication.

FACT: Cancer itself is not contagious in nature, rather the causative agents such as viruses, are contagious, that lead to the development of cancer. Example of such viruses includes Human papillomavirus (HPV) that can lead to cervical cancer and Hepatitis B or C viruses that can lead to liver cancer. Thus, it is not wrong to spend time with the cancer patients; in fact, your moral support would boost the healing capacity of these patients to several folds.

Myth 2: Cancer Happens to Bad People.
Despite of awareness campaigns being carried out throughout the world, many people yet believe that cancer happens to a person as an act of punishment given by God for their deeds.

FACT: Cancer can develop in any person irrespective of caste, creed, sex, and age. If the above myth was true, then a toddler would never suffer from cancer.

Myth 3: Sugary Foods Lead to an Exponential Growth of the Cancer Cells.
People suffering from cancer are often observed to resist themselves from the consumption of sugary foods.

FACT: All cells, whether normal cells or cancerous cells require blood sugar, that is, glucose as an energy source. This does not indicate that providing more sugar to the cancerous cell will lead to their overgrowth or depriving these cells with sugar will limit their growth. The basis for this misconception has been found to be the working principle of positron emission tomography (PET) scan. In this scanning technique, a small amount of radioactive tracer in the form of glucose is used. However, this does not relate the dependence of the growth of the cancerous cells to more glucose intake. Although a number of studies have indicated that larger intake of sugar foods leads to an increase in weight, which in turn increases the risk of obesity and diabetes, leading to an increased risk of certain types of cancers such as esophageal cancer.

Myth 4: Cancer Surgery or Tumor Biopsy Leads to an Expansion of Cancer Further in the Body.
Most people have been found to resist cancer surgeries due to their misconception that tumor biopsy or surgeries will open the doors for the spreading of the cancer.

FACT: Surgeons use multiple techniques to eradicate cancerous cells from the body. It is a multi-step process that is carried out with the utmost care. In fact, if the cancerous cells are to be removed from multiple sites; the surgeons use different sets of tools for each site. Thus, this leads to a reduced chance of the spreading of cancer in the body.

Myth 5: Usage of Deodorants, Hair Dyes Cause Cancer.
The chemical formulations are considered to be hazardous for health and many people think these chemicals are the root cause of cancer.

FACT: There is no strong scientific evidence that explains the involvement of deodorants and hair dyes in the occurrence of cancer. However, there are chances that the chemicals present in these products may enter into the body via nicked skin.

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