Myths of Cancer

1. Myth: Some types of cancer can be contagious
Truth: No type of cancer is contagious
Cancer is not an infectious disease. It is not transmitted through external physical contact,living or sitting together. However, there are two known contagious viruses, HPV (Human papillomavirus) and Hepatitis C that can cause cancer. HPV is a known risk factor for cervical cancer and Hep C causes liver cancer. Both viruses can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse and Hep C can also be transmitted through sharing needles or blood transfusions. But these infections are Contagious not the Cancer.

2. If your mom or dad had cancer, you will have it too
Truth – Cancer is not hereditary. The maternal and paternal cells that form fetus, do not become cancer cells.
Thus it is not possible that the offspring will contact cancer if his or her mother or father or both of them afflicted with cancer.Exceptional CANCER- Breast cancer,ovarian cancer,colorectal cancer can be passed down genetically
3. Myth: Every abnormal growth is cancerous
Truth: Abnormal growths termed ‘benign’ lack the ability to spread to other parts of the body like a cancer. The symptoms in this case are mostly caused due to the physical mass – cosmetic problems, obstructions (in intestine), pressure causing pain, nerve and blood vessel compression etc. Most of the benign tumors can remain untreated. If they are causing any of the above problems, they can be surgically removed. Cancer symptoms are different.

4. Myth: Men can’t have breast cancer
Truth: When we talk about cancer, men can also have breast cancer. Almost 80% men who are at risk aren’t even aware that they can have this ailment. If you are a man and have a lump around the chest area it is a good idea to have it checked.

5. Myth: Cancer is almost always fatal
Truth: Yes it can cause death but new treatment methods have made survival a distinct possibility. There are thousands of cancer patients who have fought and beat the disease

6. Myth: Positive thinking is enough to cure cancer
While maintaining a positive outlook during cancer treatment is essential, it will not cure cancer. Being optimistic helps with quality of life during treatment. There is no scientific evidence that a positive attitude will cure cancer.

7. Myth: Only smokers get lung cancer.
Truth: Along with smoking there are various things other causes of lung cancer. Heavy exposure to asbestos, radon, uranium, arsenic, genetic predisposition, heavy exposure to second hand smoke and lung scarring from any prior illness can all cause lung cancer.
8. Myth: Light or mild cigarettes are less harmful
Truth: Research suggests if anything light or mild cigarettes might actually be more harmful because smokers tend to drag on them longer than regular ones thus inhaling more smoke. In fact in 2010, a bill was passed in the United States that banned tobacco manufacturers to use the words light, mild or low on the cigarette packing. The only way to reduce the cancer risk is to quit smoking completely.
9. Myth: There is no way you can reduce your cancer risk
Truth: There are a lot of measures you can take that will significantly reduce your cancer risk. Abstaining from tobacco products, eating healthy, exercising, using protection during sexual intercourse, using sunscreen and avoiding intravenous drugs are some measures one can take to avoid health issues. Cancer treatment and prevention has a lot of avenues.
10. Myth: Surgery causes cancer to spread through the body
Truth: By the time the cancer is diagnosed and surgery is recommended, the cancer would have already started spreading to other parts of the body. This causes people to think the surgeries lead to spread of cancer. There is absolutely no data to support the fact that surgery or getting a biopsy can cause cancer to spread to unaffected body parts. Cancer treatment in India does not give any data in support of that.
11. Hair dye causes brain cancer.
There has been a lot of speculation about hair dye and cancer. It has been thought that hair dye caused several different types of cancers like bladder and breast cancer, but there is no evidence of it causing brain tumors. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on May 25, hair dye does not increase the risk of developing cancer.

12. Cell phones cause cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, cell phones are not believed to be a cause of cancer. There is no credible study available that consistently proves that using a cell phone has the ability to cause cancer.

13. Cancer causes hairloss.
Cancer does not cause hair loss. Hair loss is a side effect of cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Not everyone who has chemotherapy or radiation loses his or her hair either.

15. Wearing antiperspirants and deodorant can cause cancer.
According to the National Cancer Society, there is no conclusive evidence from recent studies that wearing them can cause breast cancer. This cancer myth is by far one of the most popular among women.

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