We live in a world of contrasting information, so here are 10 myths about cancer and facts you should know about – to stay at your healthiest.
Cancer is often considered a terrifying disease to contract. But many of the widely distributed facts of this disease are complete myths. Unfortunately, most of these falsehoods make cancer worse than it seems or treatment more dangerous than they appear.
As you might know I’m a late in life mom – who had a miracle baby at age 50. I promised my son that I’d do everything I could to live to 100. He asked me to live to 200 – but I bargained him down to 100. He accepted my counter offer.
I then went on a quest to learn everything I could about how to live longer and healthier.
I share many health-boosting techniques inside my book “Life is Long.”
In this article I will sharing some interesting info about the myths of cancer – and share some helpful facts that I feel you should know about.
In this article, we debunk widespread myths about cancer to help you understand your diagnosis a little better.
Getting through chemotherapy is difficult for most patients, and while awful side effects were common when this medicine was initially introduced, that reality has changed.
Medical advancements in recent decades have helped lower the risk of harmful side effects and even eliminate the extent of the treatment. Chemo can save your life, so don’t fear it.
A darker skin complexion and more melanin in your skin can actually reduce your risk of skin cancer. The darker your complexion, the more you’re protected from harsh UV rays.
Gingers and redheads who have green or blue eyes are the most at-risk population. If you have fair skin, you should wear and reapply sunscreen if you’re outdoors for longer than 10-minutes.
There’s currently no evidence that doing a biopsy to remove a tumor or cancer cluster will cause the cancer to spread. It’s likely this myth formed because the surgery didn’t stop certain aggressive cancers from growing at the incision spot.
However, when a tumor needs to be tested or removed, the process won’t cause cancer to grow or change by itself.
While diet does have an impact on cancer growth, eliminating sugar from your diet won’t cure the disease. At the same time, there’s no conclusive evidence that eating sugar will make cancer cells spread more quickly.
All cells in your body depend on glucose (sugar) to function, so cutting healthy sugars, like fruit, out of your diet may actually make you feel sicker.
Only 5-10% of all cancers result directly from gene defects, so if your direct family members haven’t gotten cancer, it doesn’t mean you won’t.
Lifestyle is the biggest indicator for cancer risk, and plenty of the choices you make today could impact your risk in the future. A single lifestyle choice, unless it’s significantly toxic (chronic smoking), will cause cancer by itself.
This myth comes from a study conducted back in the 1980s, when hair dye used to contain chemicals that increased the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Antiperspirants also have no evidence that they increase cancer risk. Although, it was originally thought that aluminum-based deodorants could cause hormonal changes that lead to breast cancer.
It’s tempting to start cancer treatment immediately once a growth is found, but that may be ill-advised for some patients. If the cancer is growing slowly and doesn’t give the patient discomfort, your doctor may suggest watching and waiting.
At most, they may diagnose treatment measures, like immunotherapy, that targets smaller growths or clusters.
There’s no age limit for cancer treatment, and older adults should consider the same factors that younger adults face when looking over their options.
Pregnant women should also seek treatment if they are concerned their symptoms are linked to cancer. Both pregnant women and older adults have treatment options available to them that won’t make their cancer worse.
The reverse is actually true; it’s actually unlikely that a lump in your breast is cancerous. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the lump checked by a doctor, but if you find one in your breast, it’s probably a non-cancerous tumor or cyst.
If you notice a change in your breast tissue (dimpling), pain in the area of the lump, or other significant changes, don’t ignore it.
This is more often than not untrue. The only time cancer patients are confined to a hospital is when they reach a point where they can’t live on their own.
That can happen with Stage 3-4 terminal cancer patients. Most people living with cancer are treated on an outpatient basis and will rarely stay overnight at a hospital. Some cancer patients experience no lifestyle changes.
Learn more about protecting yourself again cancer and other illnesses.