5) Negative Thoughts/ Personality Causes Cancer

There may be a wealth of self-help books speaking about the power of positive energy. But some people take it too literally and think that means bad thoughts and a ‘more negative’ personality help develop cancer. The other myth is that it will make the cancer worse. There is no scientific evidence of this. Negative thoughts and attitudes will likely lead to more stress. High stress is indeed unhealthy both psychologically and physically. It has been linked to a number of illnesses such as heart disease and digestive problems. However, the link between stress causing cancer is weak.

Negative thoughts and attitudes themselves don’t cause cancer. However, negative behaviors such as smoking, overeating and heavy alcohol use increase the risk of cancer. It is natural to experience a wide range of emotions if you are diagnosed with cancer from sadness to anger. It is unhealthy mentally to suppress your emotions. Still, there is some evidence that high stress does increase the chance for tumors to spread and metastasize. Hence, it is important to engage in proper stress management techniques or counselling.

cancer myths

4) There Is A Miracle Cure For Cancer

We’ve all seen or heard this. From weird pop up ads to FB posts or even personal stories from friends, there’s always the cure for cancer doctors don’t want you to know about. Aromatherapy, cupping, traditional herbs, acupuncture, essential oils, juice therapy, ginger, super-foods, the list goes on and on of disproven cancer ‘miracle cures’. The people who tout these cures usually have so called ‘evidence’ to back it up. In most cases, it’s a success story from a few individuals. These may sound appealing and interesting but the fact is these ‘treatments’ have not undergone vigorous scientific research and investigation. If they have, most of them are instantly shown to be false.

Researchers conduct proper clinical studies to prove that a prospective cancer treatment is safe and effective. The miracle cure promoters are only showing their very select few of best cases while shuffling the ‘failures’ to the side. In regards to super-foods like green tea and ginseng, there is also no scientific basis for them as a cure. Indeed some foods have been linked with lowering risk factors for cancer, but they are rarely as significant as they seem. Cancer is very complex, it’s overly simplistic to think one food can singlehandedly cure or prevent it. Overall a healthy balanced diet will indeed help,

cancer myths

3) Cancer is A Modern Man-Made Disease

Despite your grandpa and grandma moaning about how there never used to be cancer when they were young and how new technology is what’s causing it, that is simply not true. Cases of cancer has appeared since the dawn of human history. 3,000 year old skeletons have shown evidence of cancer, even dinosaurs had cancer! The truth is age is the main risk factor of cancer. Even not so long ago, humans had to battle all sorts of deadly illnesses other than cancer. Life expectancy has risen dramatically and with it rates of cancer. DNA damage builds up as we age and that can possibly lead to the development of cancer.

This is obviously not to say young people can’t get cancer. In fact, more young and middle-aged individuals are developing cancer. As we have already stressed above, lifestyles do also have a big impact on cancer risk and that seems to be the reason for the rise. Increasingly poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of exercise and poor diet seem to be the main culprit. Pollution is also a contributing factor as well as ‘natural elements’ like the sun, radon, bacteria, viruses and natural chemicals. Interestingly, though you’ll find the link between cell phones and cancer to be inconclusive so far with many studies failing to establish a link.

2) Biopsies Cause Cancer To Spread

For a majority of cases, doctors utilize biopsies to diagnose cancer. During a biopsy, a sample of tissue taken from the body in order to examine it more closely. There is a myth that this procedure will actually cause the cancer to spread.

There are actually cases that this can happen but they are exceedingly rare. Low enough that there is no reason for patients to be afraid of biopsies since the benefits far outweigh the risk. The outcomes and survival of patients who underwent biopsies were significantly higher than those who did not. Surgeons follow very strict standard procedures, use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors.

cancer myths

1)  Cancer Treatment Kills More Than It Cures

Obviously cancer treatment whether chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, is an extremely difficult experience. The side effects from bleeding, fatigue, swelling, diarrhea, hair loss, pain to nausea can be excruciating. Sometimes, tragically the treatments do not work. However, it is still the most effective means to cure cancer.

There are false claims that only 2% of chemotherapy works. This is highly misleading statement with cherry picked stats. The treatments have been shown to be effective. 96% of men survive testicular cancer, 82% of children with cancer survive. ‘Alternative treatments’ like the fake miracle cures on the other hand is associated with poorer outcomes and survival. As we said these treatments have a number of side effects but sometimes people confuse the side effects with the symptoms especially during later stages. These treatments are imperfect, but scientific researchers are working hard  to developing better alternatives right now.

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