According to cancer.net, cancer is a group of more than 100 diseases that can develop almost anywhere in the body.
In summary, cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of cells.
And due to its varying symptoms, challenges in treatment and diagnosis, this has led to many cancer myths that have been circulating for a long time.
As the world becomes more aware, these myths are being debunked. Here are some of the common misconceptions about cancer that have been proven wrong.
1. Use of plastics in the microwave will lead to cancer
There is a common myth that you can never warm your food in the microwave while it is in a plastic container. The fact is that some of these containers are microwave-friendly and are therefore safe for reheating your food. On the other hand, many plastic containers have not been made to be used in a microwave. The high temperatures could possibly cause some of the chemical components to melt into your food which can lead to health problems. However, not all plastics cause cancer.
2. Cancer is contagious
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It’s sad that in current times some people mistreat, ridicule, and stigmatize people suffering from the illness. This misplaced fear and ignorance only shows the need to create more awareness on cancer. Although specialists indicate that there are some transmittable bacteria that can increase the risk of different types of cancer such as stomach and cervical cancer, the illness itself is not contagious at all.
3. Sugar speeds up cancer
Another common myth is that sugar will increase the production of cancer cells. Many people believe that in order to reduce the number of cancer cells in the body, you need to completely cut sugar out of your diet. This myth has been debunked after it was found that starving the cells of sugar will not reduce their production.
When it comes to general health issues, it has always been recommended that we maintain a healthy balanced diet and avoid consuming excess amounts of sugar. A high sugar diet can eventually lead to different types of cancer so keep your intake low.
4. Treatment is worse than the illness
The assumption that chemotherapy treatments are worse than the effects of cancer is a myth. People assume that the treatments are so severe that they lead to symptoms such as hair loss and severe nausea. In the past, the treatments could lead to these side effects. However, the technology has improved over the years and such symptoms have reduced. Also, the treatments themselves are not painful. This is contrary to the belief that the treatment sessions are even worse than the cancer itself.
5. Hair can’t grow back after chemotherapy
The chemotherapy treatments can often cause hair loss. Many images of cancer survivors show patients experiencing this symptom from the treatment. The good news is that once the treatments are done, hair usually grows back. The treatments do not have long-lasting effects on your hair.
6. Sunscreen causes cancer
The use of sunscreen has been a controversial topic for a long time. Some people support the use of sunscreen while others don’t. Those opposing sunscreen use believe that sunscreen contains harmful chemicals and carcinogens that could potentially damage your body. Experts beg to differ as far as these harmful chemicals are concerned. They say that the ingredients such as zinc and titanium are not carcinogenic. Furthermore, sunscreen reduces the risk of cancer and melanomas that are triggered by UV exposure. The myth that sunscreen is a cause of cancer has therefore been debunked.
7. Breast lumps are always a sign of cancer
For years, women have been suffering in silence thinking the lump in their breast is cancerous. Quite the contrary. But to be sure all is well in your body, women are always encouraged to be on the lookout and even carry out some self-tests that can show signs that something is wrong. It is also advised that you get checked if you feel a lump that has been persistent because you never know. However, should you find one it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Hence the importance of consulting a doctor who will carry out the necessary tests.
8. A history of cancer in the family means you will get it
A history of the illness in your family does not seal your fate. In fact, many types of cancers are caused by poor lifestyle and diet habits which trigger the illness. It’s true that, if your family has a history of cancer your risk of developing it increases. However, there are still many lifestyle factors outside genetic factors that predispose you to getting ill.
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