14:37 10 April 2014
It seems that every week there is a new story about cancer facts, breakthroughs and hopes for that long awaited miracle cure, but what should you avoid?
As Male Cancer Awareness Week draws to a close, here are 10 common cancer myths debunked!
1. Hair dye causes brain cancer
It has been believed that hair dye caused several different types of cancers like bladder and breast cancer, but there is no evidence of it causing brain tumours.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that hair dye does not increase the risk of developing cancer.
2. Mobile phones cause cancer
Usage of mobile phones is not believed to be a cause of cancer. There is no credible study available that consistently proves otherwise.
Cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer are a few of the cancers that can be passed down genetically. If a parent has these cancers, the cancer gene may be passed to their child and if a child inherits the gene, it does raise the likelihood of developing cancer, but does not guarantee a cancer sentence.
3. If your parents had cancer, so will you
It is true that some cancers are genetic, but this does not mean that one will definitely develop cancer because of their inheritance.
4. Cancer causes hair loss
Contrary to popular belief, cancer does not cause hair loss. Hair loss is a side effect of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy but not everyone who undergoes these treatments loses their hair.
5. Only women get breast cancer
Completely untrue - men get breast cancer also! Male breast cancer is uncommon, yet still happens and kills hundreds per year.
6. A lump in your breast means you have breast cancer
Around 80% of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous). Sometimes there can be cysts, nipple discharges and calcification (calcium salt deposits in breast tissues) resulting from injury or bruising, hormonal changes or infection. However, always get them checked out just in case.
7. Cancer is almost always fatal
Unfortunately cancer can, and often does cause death. But new breakthroughs in early detection of cancer have made it far more treatable, with 40% of cancer patients reaching or exceeding the five year survivor mark.
8. Wearing antiperspirants and deodorant can cause cancer
According to the National Cancer Society, there is no conclusive evidence from recent studies using them causes cancer. This cancer myth is by far one of the most popular among women.
Both viruses can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, although Hepatitis C is more often transmitted through blood to blood contact such as sharing needles and transfusions.
9. Some types of cancer can be contagious
Not one type of cancer is contagious. However, there are two known contagious viruses, HPV and Hepatitis C, which can lead to cancer. HPV is a known risk factor for cervical cancer and Hepatitis C causes liver cancer.
10. Positive thinking will cure cancer
Unfortunately this is not the case. However, a positive outlook during cancer treatment is essential for a smoother recovery or acceptance. Maintaining optimism helps with 'quality of life' during the treatment process.
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