Myths and misconceptions about cancer can cause unnecessary worries about your health. The wrong information may even affect the way one responds or reacts to a diagnosis of this disease. Here are some common cancer myths:
Cancer is a death sentence
FACT: About a third of all cancers can be cured if they are detected and treated early.That is why regular health check-ups and cancer screenings are important. Today, about 9 in 10 people with certain early-stage cancers, such as breast, prostate and thyroid cancers, survive for at least five years after their cancer is diagnosed. New cancer treatments also mean that more people with advanced cancers can live longer.
cancer is not contagious
Cancer is contagious
FACT: You cannot catch cancer from someone who has it. Spending time with a loved one who has cancer will not cause you to get it too. Rarely will a person who has had an organ or tissue transplantation develop cancer from a donor who had cancer previously. Although cancer itself does not spread from person to person, certain viruses can increase your risk of getting cancer. Hepatitis B or C spreads through sexual intercourse or infected needles and increases your risk of getting liver cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually-transmitted infection that can increase your risk of getting cervical cancer.
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Eating sugar will make cancer grow faster
FACT: Research has shown that cancer cells absorb more sugar than normal cells. But there is no scientific evidence to suggest that eating sugar or sweet foods will worsen cancer. However, a diet high in sugar can cause you to gain excess weight and increase your risk of diabetes. People who are obese or have diabetes have a higher risk of developing certain cancers.
Bad thoughts or negative attitudes will cause me to develop or die from cancer
FACT: There is no scientific evidence to show that you can increase your risk of cancer or die from it because of a negative attitude, or vice versa. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you are likely to experience many different emotions. You might feel sad, angry, frightened or discouraged. When the going gets tough, a positive attitude might be able to help you cope better with your cancer diagnosis or side effects of treatment.
Surgery or a tumour biopsy will cause cancer to spread
FACT: Although possible, the chances of this occurring are extremely low. Your surgeon follows a strict set of procedures and takes steps to prevent this from happening when he or she is performing a biopsy.