Myths About Cancer

Myth 1 : Electronic devices like cell phones cause cancer
Reality : Studies have shown that cell phone users do not cause higher risk of getting cancer.

Myth 2 : Cancer is infectious
Reality : Cancer does not spread from one person to another. It is not infectious.

Myth 3 : If I get cancer I will die
Reality : Cancer is curable if diagnosed at an early age. Early Detection Saves Lives

Myth 4 : Undergoing cancer treatment means you can't live at home, work or go about your usual activities
Reality : In most of the cases patients get outpatient treatment and can go home, join work etc. depending on their personal physical health. A great deal of research is going on to help people live a normal life during cancer treatment.

Myth 5 : If a lump hurts it is not cancer
Reality : If a lump is found in any part of the body, it needs to be diagnosed properly. Whether a lump hurts or not, it can be cancerous.

Myth 6 : If I lead a healthy life I will not get cancer
Reality : Cancer cells are present in every person’s body. They start growing when triggered due to some factors. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle cannot always stop a person from getting cancer.

Myth 7 : If my mother had breast cancer I will have it too
Reality : No. Even if there is a strong family history, 40-80% may get breast cancer in their lifetime, while 20-60% will not get it. Many other factors also play a vital role in getting the disease. Therefore it is not necessary that breast cancer will be transferred from mother to daughter.

Myth 8 : If I get breast cancer, mastectomy is the only solution
Reality : If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it can be treated by lumpectomy i.e. by removing only the lump. Mastectomy is not always required.

Myth 9 : If I have no family history, I exercise, eat right and don’t smoke then I will not get cancer
Reality : The above factors definitely reduce the risk of cancer but they cannot stop its occurrence completely.

Myth 10 : An injury can cause cancer
Reality : Bruise or injury on any body part can never be a reason for any kind of cancer.

Myth 11 : Underwire bras and breast implants cause breast cancer
Reality : Studies have shown that underwire bras and breast implants do not cause breast cancer.

Myth 12 : Products like shampoos, deodorants, antiperspirants etc can cause cancer
Reality : These products are tested properly before they are marketed. Their use does not cause any kind of cancer.

Myth 13 : Use of sunscreen once a day prevents skin cancer
Reality : Sunscreen shields the UV rays thereby reducing the risk of getting skin cancer. Moreover it has to be used a number of times during the day. But it cannot completely prevent skin cancer.

Myth 14 : Household bug spray can cause cancer
Reality : Household pesticides like bug spray can be harmful if the precautions for their use are not followed. But there is no link between cancer and these sprays.

Myth 15 : Breast cancer can be transferred from mother to daughter during pregnancy or during breast feeding
Reality : Breast cancer cannot be transferred during pregnancy or during breast feeding.

Myth 16 : Cancer is my fate
Reality : Cancer can happen to anyone. No one should feel guilty about getting this disease. If such negative thoughts pass one’s mind, it is best to share with someone or to join a support group that may help sort out many conflicts of mind.

Myth 17 : Breast cancer skips a generation
Reality : If any one of the parents has cancer gene, then there are 50% chances of the next generation to get it and 50% of not getting it.

Myth 18 : There is nothing one can do to prevent cancer
Reality : About 35% of cancers can be prevented. Even if someone has a strong family history, there are ways to reduce the risk of cancer as in : eat healthy, control your weight, stay away from tobacco in any form, understand your genetic risk, exercise and be physically active.

Myth 19 : I am too young to get Lung Cancer
Reality : Lung cancer has been diagnosed in age groups below 20 years as well, though it is very less in number

Myth 20 : Only smokers get Lung Cancer
Reality : Though smokers have a higher risk of getting lung cancer, non-smokers may also get it. Passive smoking can also be a cause of lung cancer to non-smokers.

Myth 21 : A positive attitude is all you need to beat cancer
Reality : Positive attitude helps to keep one active during the treatment and have a good quality of life. It may give one the strength and courage to deal with the disease but it cannot replace the actual treatment of cancer.

Myth 22 : There is restriction of food for cancer patients
Reality : Cancer patients can eat any kind of food. There is no restriction of food for them, though it is advisable to eat healthy food, including green vegetables, sprouts and fruits.

Myth 23 : Men do not get breast cancer
Reality : Male breast cancer is less common but also happens sometimes.

Myth 24 : Designer Lipsticks Contain Lead that Cause Cancer
Reality : If a lipstick contained an ingredient that is sure to cause cancer, it would be pulled from the shelves immediately.

Myth 25 : Hair dye causes brain cancer
Reality : There has been a lot of speculation about hair dye and cancer. It has been thought that hair dye caused several different types of cancers like bladder and breast cancer, but there is no evidence of it causing brain tumors. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hair dye does not increase the risk of developing cancer.

Myth 26 : Cancer patient should be kept in isolation
Reality : Cancer patient feels the needs of sharing more than anyone else, thus he should never be kept in isolation unless there is some health issue.

Myth 27 : Biopsy spreads cancer
Reality : Biopsy is important for diagnosis of cancer. It does not spread cancer

Myth 28 : Cancer treatment is better in western countries
Reality : Cancer treatment in India is at par with that of western countries. All the standards are maintained

Myth 29 : Alternative therapy is enough for cancer treatment
Reality : Alternative therapy can be taken after proper and full treatment

Myth 30 : Patient should not be told about the disease
Reality : Patient should be aware of his disease and line of treatment