Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. And there have abounded several cancer facts as well as fiction about how it starts and spreads.
These latest science-based information will help clarify some common cancer facts, myths and misconceptions.
Myth 1. Cancer Just Happens, There is Nothing You Can Do To Prevent It
Contrary to this myth, up to 50 percent of all cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise, diet, and avoidance of toxins.
Establishing healthy eating habits by avoiding excess sugar and heavily processed foods. Including lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet is also important.
Myth 2. Hair Dyes and Antiperspirants Can Cause Cancer.
There is currently no conclusive scientific evidence that using hair dye and antiperspirants increases the risk of developing cancer.
Some studies have suggested that the hair dyes used before 1980 could be linked to an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but the unsafe chemicals have since been removed from these products. There is limited and inconsistent evidence that hair dye can increase the risk of other types of cancer.
There is however no consistent evidence to support the claim that for antiperspirants, the skin may absorb the aluminum-based compounds that act as the active ingredient. These compounds are known to cause hormonal changes, which has led some to believe that antiperspirants could contribute to the development of breast cancer.
Myth 3. Cancer Is Hereditary And Can Only Be Gotten If It Runs In The Family
There are familial patterns of inheritance with many forms of cancer, yet the most common forms of cancer are often unrelated to genetics.
More importantly, even if a cancer is genetic, it does not necessarily mean that you will express that cancer. The medical field still does not fully understand why certain patients will get a cancer while other family members with similar genetics and environmental exposures will not.
Myth 4. Having A Cancer Gene Means You Are Doomed To Get It
Many people who have a genetic mutation associated with an increased cancer risk think there is nothing they can do to avoid it, but there are so many intricate pathways in our metabolism and in our cells.
Some of these pathways can turn genes on and some can turn them off. It’s a field called eipgenetics, where environment and external influences can alter gene expression.
Myth 5. Cancer Surgery Causes Cancer To Spread In The Body
The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors.
Myth 6. Sugar Causes Cancer
Sugar doesn’t cause cancer, nor does it worsen it. Sugar is needed to support the immune system, which helps fight cancer. Sugar (glucose) in moderation is just fine and important in a balanced diet.
Myth 7. Cancer Is A Death Sentence
Many people think cancer is incurable despite all the money that has been invested in decades of research. But although cancer can be a devastating diagnosis, it is not hopeless.
Myth 8. There Is Just One Type Of Cancer
There are hundreds of types of cancers. Each has a unique molecular signature and variable clinical expression. For example, there are at least 120 subtypes of brain and spinal cord cancer.
Myth 9. You Can Be Too Old For Cancer Treatment.
There is no age limit for cancer treatment. Decisions about cancer treatment for older adults should take into consideration the same factors as for younger adults and should not focus on the person’s age alone.
Many older patients benefit as much as younger patients from treatment. However, some older adults may have other illnesses that limit the use of specific treatments.
Myth 10. Cancer Treatment Kills More Than It Cures
Cancer treatment – whether chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery have side effects and can be tough.
Sadly too, sometimes treatment doesn’t work. But surgery is still the most effective treatment for cancer, provided it’s diagnosed early enough for an operation to be done. Radiotherapy helps cure more people than cancer drugs.