9 Common Misconceptions and Myths about Cancer
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases. Not surprisingly, talking about the causes of cancer, its treatment, and what needs to be done to prevent this disease has always been a hot topic. But apparently, there are still quite a lot of myths about cancer that circulate and are believed by the public.
Cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the body multiply uncontrollably. As a result, the number of cells will increase and disturb the surrounding tissue or organs.
Until now, it is not known what the exact cause of the emergence of cancer. However, various research shows that the increased risk of getting cancer is related to an unhealthy lifestyle, heredity, or certain diseases, such as obesity.
Until now, experts still continue to study cancer further to develop the most effective treatment and determine preventive measures.
Many Myths about Cancer Circulating
Although there are still many things about cancer that are not yet clearly known, experts actually have found enough scientific evidence related to this disease. Some scientific facts about cancer turned out to be incompatible with what has been believed by the public.
The following are some myths about cancer that are not true along with the facts:
1. Cell phone radiation causes cancer
Cancer occurs when body cells undergo changes in genetic traits (gene mutations) due to various factors, one of which is radiation exposure. However, cellphones actually only emit radiation that is so low that it does not cause gene mutations in the body’s cells.
Until now, there has been no research results that can prove that cell phone radiation can cause cancer.
2. Cancer must be hereditary
In fact, only 5-10% of cancer patients inherit gene mutations from their parents. In most cancer patients, gene mutations occur after birth, for example due to exposure to hazardous chemicals, smoking or consuming alcohol, being overweight, or due to aging.
This means that someone without a family history of cancer may develop cancer if they lead an unhealthy lifestyle.
3. Deodorants and antiperspirants can cause breast cancer
Some time ago it was rumored that the use of deodorants or antiperspirants to reduce underarm sweat and odor can cause breast cancer. This is because certain substances of the product, for example aluminum, can enter through the pores of the skin.
In fact, there is no strong evidence that explains the relationship between exposure to aluminum or other substances in deodorants with an increased risk of breast cancer.
4. Consumption of sugar will encourage the growth of cancer cells
There is an assumption that excessive sugar consumption can encourage the growth of cancer cells. It is further said that if a person stops consuming sugar, the cancer can be cured.
In fact, limiting sugar does not inhibit the growth of cancer cells. All cells in the body, both cancerous and normal, use sugar as an energy source.
However, excessive sugar consumption can indeed lead to obesity and diabetes. These two diseases will then increase the risk of cancer.
5. Exposure to hot temperatures in plastic containers can cause cancer
It is often said that consuming drinks or food in plastic containers that are exposed to hot temperatures, for example being put in a microwave, can cause cancer.
In fact, not all types of plastic are dangerous when heated. If you want to heat food in the microwave using a plastic container, choose a container labeled safe for microwave.
In addition, the statement that plastic bottles that are exposed to heat can release harmful chemicals into drinking water has also not been proven.
6. Biopsy can spread cancer cells
The possibility of cancer cells spreading due to the biopsy procedure is very small. Until now there has not been strong evidence that states that biopsy can make cancer cells spread to the surrounding body tissue.
Indeed, research shows that the benefits of biopsy far outweigh the risks, because with a biopsy, doctors can determine whether the body’s tissue is suspected to be cancerous or malignant, and determine the stage of the cancer. After these things are known, then the doctor can determine the most appropriate treatment steps.
7. Exposure to cancer cells with air during surgery can worsen cancer
This is not true. Exposure to air is not related to the spread of cancer. Surgery itself is one of the most effective ways to get rid of cancerous tissue.
Sometimes cancers that are not visible on physical examination or support, such as CT scans and MRIs, are only clearly visible during surgery.
8. The side effects of cancer therapy or treatment are worse than the cancer itself
In fact, untreated cancers can experience worsening symptoms and develop faster. In the end, cancer that is not treated early will spread (metastasis) to various other organs, even to organs that are located far from where the cancer originated. When it has invaded other organs, cancer will be very difficult to treat.
9. There are herbal products that can cure cancer
Until now there is no strong scientific evidence about the presence of certain herbal ingredients that can cure cancer.
Some herbal ingredients can indeed help alleviate cancer symptoms or inhibit the growth of cancer cells, but cannot treat cancer. Therefore, be careful when using herbal products because some of them can interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
To reduce the risk of cancer, you are advised to always lead a healthy lifestyle. In addition, do a medical check-up (medical check-up) and cancer screening to the doctor if indeed you have cancer risk factors, for example having a family member who is ill with cancer.