Monday, 16 May 2011

Cancer Myths

Author: Prashant K Shukla

There is not much awareness about cancer and that is why there are many myths that surround this medical condition. One thing which every one should know about the cancer is the early warning sign, so that the same can be treated and cured. The common myths about cancer are –

1. Use of cell phones can cause cancer.
Again this is a very common belief that cell phones can cause cancer. There is no credible study available that consistently proves that using a cell phone has the ability to cause cancer.

2. Hair dye can cause brain cancer.
Hair dye never causes cancer however this is a very common myth believed world over. The common belief was that hair dye can cause brain tumor, but there is no evidence of it causing brain tumors. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms that hair dye does not increase the risk of developing cancer.

3. Cancer can cause hair loss or hair loss indicates cancer.
Cancer does not cause hair loss. However, hair loss can be a side effect of cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. That too not with everyone, there are people who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation and did not lose their hair.

4. One can inherit cancer from parents.
This is not true with all types of cancer. This means that one will not inherit cancer from parents for sure. However there are few types of cancer which can be passed down genetically, like breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer. If a parent has any of these cancers, the cancer gene may be passed to their child. But this does not mean that the child will suffer from cancer surely. It can only increase the likelihood of developing cancer.

5. Breast cancer is found in women only.
This is the biggest cancer myth and believed by most. Men too can have breast cancer. As per an estimate 1500 men will be diagnosed and about 500 will die from the disease this year. However male breast cancer is very uncommon, yet it happens.

6. Cancer can be contagious.
In fact there is No type of cancer is contagious. However, there are two viruses which are contagious, Hepatitis C and HPV, they can cause cancer. Hep C causes liver cancer whereas HPV is a known risk factor for cervical cancer. Both of these viruses can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. However, Hep C is more often transmitted through blood to blood contact such as sharing needles and transfusions.

7. Pharmaceutical companies have the cure for cancer but are hiding it.
If this was true, thousands of loved ones of pharmaceutical businessmen have not died due to this deadly disease. pharmaceutical researchers are actually fighting very hard to find some solution instead. This is the result of their hard word alone that today we can cure many types of cancer successfully.

8. Cancer means death.
Yes, this could be but not always that cancer means death. New breakthroughs have made it possible to treat the cancer in early detection of of the disease. An estimate is that more than 35% of cancer patients reach or exceed the five year survivor life!

9. Use of 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 cancer. This cancer myth is by far one of the most popular among women for that it can cause breast cancer.

10. Positive thinking cures cancer.
Positive thinking does not cure cancer but surely plays very significant role during cancer treatment. Optimistic attitude helps increasing the quality of life during treatment. Although there is no scientific evidence that positive attitude cures cancer.

All the above mentioned are wrong notions. As one sees symptoms that are warning signs of cancer, one should rush to a doctor.

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Prashant K Shukla is a successful author. Visit to read more articles from Prashant K Shukla.


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