Today is the World Cancer Day. The tradition of marking this day was originally started by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The purpose of the World Cancer Day is to raise awareness of cancer, as well as to encourage things like cancer detection, prevention and treatment. Also, the event’s current goal is to reduce the cases of cancer disease and death by 2020.
To mark the World Cancer Day, we have decided to debunk some of the most common cancer myths with plain facts. Even if you consider yourself informed on the topic, you might be surprised to learn that some of the things you knew about the disease are actually false.
Myth 1: Cancer is a Modern-Day Disease
Fact: Many people think that cancer did not exist in the past and that we have brought it upon ourselves thanks to our modern-day lifestyle. The truth is that many cancer cases were recorded and researched in Egypt back in 3000 BC. Later on, in 400 BC, Greek scientists started to study the illness in more detail. They even managed to make difference between malignant and benign tumours. In other words, cancer is an ancient disease. It is even observed in primates that lived way before the first humans.
Myth 2: It is Not Possible to Control the Risk of Cancer
Fact: The risk of cancer always exists. Unfortunately, there is still no recipe with which you can prevent the disease. Still, there are many ways in which you can reduce the risk of developing cancer. That includes changes in your diet and lifestyle, for example.
Myth 3: Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy are Worse Than Cancer
Fact: it is true that radiotherapy and chemotherapy come with side effects and are often hard to bear. Nevertheless, over the last few years, the treatments and drugs used in them come with fewer side effects and are much more tolerable for the organism. As a result, a cancer patient’s quality of life during such a therapy has now greatly improved.
Myth 4: Cancer is Always Painful
Fact: Pain is often part of the cancer experience. However, doctors now rely on new techniques for treatment that can greatly reduce pain in about 95% of cancer patients.
Myth 5: You Can Catch Cancer
Fact: Of course, this is false. Even though this is a simple truth about cancer, not many people were found to actually know that. For instance, a study conducted in the UK two years ago, discovered that 50% of men and 33% of women though that cancer is like a virus and it can be transmitted from one person to another.
Myth 6: Reducing Smoking Will Also Reduce Cancer Risk
Fact: Smoking is continues to be greatest contributor of cancer cases in the world. According to scientists, the link between cancer and smoking is linear. This means that no matter whether you smoke 2 or 20 cigarettes per day, you still increase the risk of developing cancer at some point of your life. Moreover, the same goes for smoking and diseases like lung dysfunction and heart disease.
Myth 7: Mobile Phones can Cause Brain Cancer
Fact: Heavy use of mobile phones definitely has negative effects on your health. However, researchers have found no link between mobile phone use and brain cancer. Yet, constant use of mobile phones can expose you to unhealthy amounts of mobile radiation that carries other risks.
Myth 8: Drinking Water from Plastic Bottles Causes Cancer
Fact: Some people believe that if they drink water from plastic bottles or if they reuse them, they will increase the risk of developing cancer because of the chemicals contained in them. Although plastic bottle do release chemicals, they are not found to be carcinogenic. Simply said, they do not lead to cancer.
Myth 9: Men Cannot Suffer from Breast Cancer
Fact: Although breast cancer is one of the most common and most talked-about forms of cancer, this myth continues to seen as fact by many people. The truth, however, is that just like women, men have breast duct cells. Therefore, just like women, men can get breast cancer. Nevertheless, breast cancer is more common among women, since they have more breast cells and female hormones. Breast cancer in men usually occurs in patients who have a family history of breast cancer and are over 60.
Myth 10: Cancer Can Never be Completely Cured
Fact: With some cancer patients, cancer can come back. However, those who have been in remission for a period of ten years are considered to be cured of the disease. So, yes – cancer is curable!
In a press release published just before the World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization explains that treatment is one part of the fight against cancer. It urges people to undergo regular screening and tests. That will increase the cases of early detection which are much easier to be treated and cured.