Think Tank

5 Common Myths About Cancer

5 Common Myths About Cancer

Cancer is known as one of the most dangerous diseases across the world. The varied nature of all the numerous kinds of cancer has given rise to a host of rumours that can mislead people with the wrong information. In today’s post, we seek to debunk certain myths about cancer.

5 Common Myths About Cancer

MYTH 1: People with dark skin get cancer

Truth: Not dark but fair skin boosts the odds of developing skin cancer, as there is a direct link between the risk of skin cancer and a person’s melanin (skin pigment) level. It must be noted, however, that this does not mean that dark skinned patients can never get cancer. Dark skinned patients may often miss the warning signs of skin cancer as they appear in less obvious areas of the body such as eyelids, genitals, under the nails etc. It becomes difficult to treat such types of cancer as they are caught during the later stages.

MYTH 2: Cancer spreads from person to person

Truth: You cannot catch cancer from a person who already has it. But be careful as some contagious cancer causing viruses could harm your body. Another often-overlooked risk is that of the HPV, HBV and HCV viruses, which can spread through unprotected oral sex. These viruses have been linked to the occurrence of cancer, especially among males around 40-50 years of age.

MYTH 3: Artificial sugars and cell phones cause cancer

Truth: There is no evidence that cell phones or artificial sugars cause cancer. The rumours began when some studies from the 1970s suggested that animals are prone to cancer if given artificial sweeteners. But the same studies didn’t pan out on humans. A few studies showed that cell phones have an association with brain cancer while others showed none, thereby reaping inconsistent results which cannot be wholly relied upon. The truth is that your biggest cancer prevention tool is a clean lifestyle. Stop smoking, cut down on drinking, eat more veggies and try not to gain weight.

MYTH 4: Getting tanned prevents cancer

Truth: Your skin getting severely tanned by the sun could actually contribute towards skin cancer. You could also be prone to dull skin, sagging, brown spots and wrinkles.

MYTH 5: Extra body fat only affects your heart but doesn’t cause cancer

Truth: Excessive body fat increases your risk of developing thyroid cancer, prostate cancer and a host of other diseases. It also means that you will have more than your share of inflammation. That could actually turn normal cells cancerous by altering your DNA.

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