Common myths about cancer

Common myths about cancer

There are plenty of misconceptions and myths surrounding the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer. It can all get confusing and a little bit frightening, too. Trying to sort out the truth on your own can be a particularly daunting task. While it is always a good idea to consult your physician or medical specialist with any questions or concerns you may have, there are some cancer myths that should be debunked for good.

MYTH: Safe tanning practices protect your skin from the risk of skin cancer. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as safe tanning. In fact, that glow you get from being in the sun or in a tanning bed is a sign of skin damage. Whether you choose to bask outside on a chaise lounge or closed up in a bed at the tanning salon, you are exposing your skin to harmful UV rays that can lead to skin cancer. In truth, the only “healthy glow” is your skin's natural color.

MYTH: Women who keep their cell phones in their bras are at higher risk for breast cancer. To date, there have been no studies to suggest that women who carry their cell phones in their bras are more likely to develop breast cancer. There are many other factors that figure into a woman's risk for developing breast cancer, including family history, the presence of gene mutations and more. Besides, in today's world, most of us carry a cell phone in close proximity to various vital organs without developing cancer in those areas.

MYTH: Eating sugar causes cancer to grow faster. This is false. While the body depends on blood sugar for fuel, eating sugar does not fuel the growth of cancer cells. Conversely, abstaining from sugar consumption does not slow the growth of cancerous cells.

MYTH: Cancer is contagious. Again, this is false. You absolutely cannot catch cancer; it is not contagious in any way. Avoiding a person with cancer is actually counterproductive to their emotional state. In fact, spending time with a cancer patient, embracing them and offering your support is a valuable source of comfort that can help patients deal with their cancer and the side effects of treatment.

MYTH: Herbal supplements and vitamins can prevent or cure cancer. Unfortunately, this is not true. To date, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that any regimen of herbal supplements or vitamins is proven to be effective in preventing or curing cancer. While there are herbal supplements and vitamins that may help patients deal with the side effects of cancer treatments, there are others that can be dangerous to take while undergoing a treatment course or even interfere with treatment. If you are dealing with cancer and considering an herbal supplement or vitamin as part of your treatment plan, consult with your physician beforehand.

Posted: 5/28/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: Cancer, Care, Myths

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