25 Jan, 2022
Cancer is a scary word, and getting diagnosed with this potentially challenging health condition, could feel like a nightmare come true. One of the involuntary steps any cancer patient or their loved one would do soon after getting a cancer diagnosis is browsing through realms of information available on the internet about cancer, tumour, talking to the survivors or family of the deceased, in an attempt to get some understanding or rather some assurance, on the tough journey ahead.
Well, in these days and times of information being available at the thumb, it could be extremely hard to process and understand one of the most intense topics of the medical world – Cancer. Often proved challenging even for the well-trained doctors and researchers, learning about cancer, tumour, growth of cancer cells, do and don’ts require immense understanding, and it can be achieved only by talking to an expert oncologist.
However, read on to know more about the most popular misconceptions about cancer, even as we bust them!
Nope. It is not. You can touch, hug, interact in person and sit next to anyone who has cancer. Do not avoid anyone suffering from cancer; they need your support, all the more to fight it back. Though cancer is not contagious, certain viruses like Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis B, C which are responsible for cervical cancer and liver cancer respectively are contagious; however, you can seek protection against these infections through vaccination.
Not true. Thanks to advanced diagnostic tools and medical treatments – not only has the fatality dropped significantly but also the longevity and quality of living among cancer survivors have improved remarkably. The survival rate of those affected by breast, thyroid, and prostate cancers is at 90 per cent while doctors are witnessing positive outcomes in other types of tumours as well. So, one should not lose hope when diagnosed with cancer.
There is absolutely no truth behind this. It is a well-known fact that all body cells including cancer cells depend on sugars for energy, but it doesn’t contribute to their growth pattern at all. Similarly, staying away from sugars, sweeteners will leave no impact on the growth. However, if you are obese or diabetes runs in your family, avoid sugar to prevent various other complications, which may contribute to the risk of cancer.
Again,not true. Cancer surgeries are performed by extensively trained surgeons under stringent, standard procedures adhering to a strict protocol. Each biopsy is performed with great detail, making use of sophisticated surgical equipment, and these procedures do not facilitate cancer cells moving into other organs. The spreading of cancer cells to other parts of the body from the place of origin is called metastatic cancer, and this happens when cancer cells multiply, spread in the advanced stages.
Not true. Cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy wave that do not or cannot interfere with the genes. Cancer is caused due to various factors, including genetic mutations, smoking tobacco, exposure to carcinogens, certain types of toxic gases, excessive UV rays, poor dietary and lifestyle habits.
Similarly, there is no evidence to suggest that high tension power lines can trigger cancer. The energy – both electrical and magnetic emitted by power lines gets restricted or weakened by walls and cannot interfere with genes.
Though it is widely believed that cancer runs in certain families, it is not true in all cases. Cancer is caused due to sudden, harmful changes in genes, and according to various studies, only 5 to 10 per cent of these mutations are inherited. In the case of inherited cancers, the family members often develop the same type of cancer – known as a familial or hereditary tumour.
Again, this implies to those families with no history of cancer at all. One cannot be assured to live a cancer-free life since there were no prior cases of cancer running in their families. Everyone should exercise caution, stay away from tobacco, practice a healthy lifestyle and ensure regular health check-ups to stay cancer-free.
There is no evidence to suggest this either. Various studies have proved that the compounds used in these products cannot penetrate under the skin and interfere with the breast tissue, thus triggering the growth of breast cancer.
Talk to your doctor. It is easy, informative and very assuring. Your oncologist is the right person to decide what’s good for you and chart out the route of treatment. Do not be afraid to ask questions and seek the right answers.
Staying informed about the health condition and being aware of the treatment plan would give you a lot of mental stamina for combating cancer.