Common Misconceptions About Cancer

A Diagnosis of Cancer is a Certain Death Sentence

Cancer is not an automatic cause of death. Recovery rates are continually getting better as scientists gain a deeper understanding of cancer and develop more effective treatments.

It is also important to keep in mind that survival rates are highly variable depending on the specific type of cancer being treated. For instance, the five-year survival rate for testicular cancer in the United Kingdom is 98%, whereas the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only 1%.

The Cancerous Condition is Infectious

This is a common fallacy. Cancer is not an infectious disease. Cancer cannot be passed on to other people even if one person has it. On the other hand, cancers of the cervix and liver can be caused by certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B and C. In these instances, an infectious agent is responsible for causing cancer; however, cancer itself does not spread.

As an intriguing aside, researchers have found that cancers that occur in certain animals, such as Tasmanian devils and dogs, can cause fatal cancers that can be passed from one animal to another. These cancers are known as devil facial tumor disease and canine transmissible venereal tumor, respectively.

Phones Increase Cancer Risk

There is currently no evidence that using a cell phone increases the risk of developing cancer. The fact that these gadgets transmit radio waves, a form of non-ionizing radiation, is one of the factors that contributed to the development of this myth. This radiation is taken into the body and absorbed.

Ionizing radiation, such as that emitted by X-ray machines, is known to increase the likelihood of developing cancer among scientific research participants. On the other hand, radiofrequency radiation is non-ionizing radiation, which doesn’t raise the risk of developing cancer.

Cancer is Caused by Power Lines

This is another one of those myths. Because the magnetic fields generated by power lines are of an incredibly low frequency, they are non-ionizing and don’t contribute to the development of cancer.

The potential effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on cancer in mice and rats have been the subject of many large studies. In these studies, the animals are subjected to magnetic fields that are significantly stronger than those to which people are typically exposed at home. The majority of these studies have concluded that there is no rise in the likelihood of developing any kind of cancer. The animals that were subjected to radiation had a significantly reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer.

However, it is also noted that a few studies have discovered a marginally increased risk of leukemia for children who live near power lines. On the other hand, the causes for this are not entirely clear. We don’t have any actual evidence that phones or electric lines cause cancer, and there are numerous other things that we perform daily that put us at a much higher risk than these could ever possibly be, such as smoking and alcohol consumption.

Cancer Surgery Spreads Cancer Throughout the Body

This is merely a portion of a larger urban legend. It is correct that cancer surgery has the potential to cause the disease to spread, but this is an extremely uncommon occurrence. Advances in instrumentation used during surgical procedures have helped make this threat very low, and more thorough imaging studies have also contributed to this.

A Similar Urban Legend

Exposing a tumor to air may cause it to grow more quickly or to spread to other areas of the body. This is not the case.

Herbal Remedies Can Cure Cancer

There is no credible evidence that any cancer can be cured or treated with herbal remedies. On the other hand, some people find that certain alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, mindfulness, and yoga, help with the mental stress that is associated with cancer along with some of the side outcomes of the cancer treatment.

Just because something is described as “natural” does not automatically imply that it is risk-free. Herbal supplements have the potential to be harmful to a person’s health in certain situations; the following are a couple of examples:

Some research findings have found that the herb known as kava, which is used by some people to assist in the reduction of stress and anxiety, may cause damage to the liver. St. John’s wort, which is used by some people to treat depression, may inhibit the effectiveness of some cancer medications. Before beginning to take any vitamins or supplements, cancer patients need to consult with their primary care physicians first.

 A History of Cancer in the Family

It is estimated that only 3–10% of cancers are caused by mutations that are inherited from parents. Even though some cancers can be passed down through families genetically, this accounts for a minority of cases. It is not unusual for a person to have some family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. This is because the risk of developing cancer increases with age and people are living longer than ever before. This may help explain why people continue to believe this myth. The vast majority of cases of cancer are caused by an accumulation of mutations in genes that occur over time.

The majority of cancers are not connected to the genes that we accrue from our parents, but some families are predisposed to developing certain types of cancer. The majority of cancers are caused by inherited changes that begin in a single cell and progress throughout a person’s lifetime.

 There is No Treatment Available for Cancer

Thank goodness, this is another one of those myths. Cancer treatments are steadily becoming more effective as the field of medical scientific knowledge digs deeper into the mechanisms that underpin cancer.

There is a sixty percent chance of complete recovery from certain types of cancer, such as testicular and thyroid cancer, as stated by Dr. Vu. According to Dr. Vu’s definition, “the population of cancer victims that has the same life span as the general public” constitutes the cure rate. There is also a cure rate of approximately fifty percent for cancers of the breast, prostate, and bladder. Dr. Vu concludes:

According to the information presented above, it is possible to eradicate certain types of cancer; however, it is regrettable that this is not the case for all cancers. Given the ongoing efforts being put into cancer prevention and treatment, there is reason to believe that the percentage of cancer patients who are cured of the disease will continue to rise.

Patients who are newly diagnosed not with cancer must lose hope, even if the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. There are several effective, new treatments, in addition to more efficient surgical techniques. Up to forty percent of patients diagnosed with stage four melanoma can be cured with the help of contemporary immunotherapy, for instance, and fifty percent of patients diagnosed with stage four colon cancer that has spread to the liver can be healed with the help of a mixture of chemotherapy and surgery.

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