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myths about cancer
By ILHAM SHEIKH 466 views
HEALTH

11 Common Cancer Myths That Everyone Should Know

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease where cells divide uncontrollably leading to abnormal growth. Cancerous cells do not stop dividing even after they have reached their final destination. As a result, the body does not recognize them as its own and attempts to eliminate them.

The causes of cancer are complex and vary widely depending on the type of cancer. There are three types of cancer: carcinomas (tumors), sarcomas (soft tumors), and lymphomas (cancer of the immune system). Carcinomas are the most common type of cancer and are further divided into squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, basocellular carcinoma, melanoma, etc. Sarcomas are soft tumors that often occur in connective tissue and muscle. Lymphomas are cancers of the immune system that affect the lymph nodes and blood vessels.

There are many different treatments for cancer including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, immunotherapy, hormonal therapies, targeted therapies, gene therapies, etc. Each treatment has its own set of side effects and risks and only some work well for certain types of cancer.

Myth about Cancer

Many myths about cancer are spread by well-intentioned friends and family members. These beliefs frequently result in patients feeling much more stressed than they previously were. Here are 11 cancer misconceptions busted since knowing your diagnosis is crucial to going forward with your treatment plan:

1. Having a biopsy causes cancer to progress

Issam Alwin, MD, a medical oncologist at our Tulsa hospital, stated that there is “absolutely no proof” that doing a biopsy or removing the tumor will cause it to spread.

A tumor that has to be excised or examined won’t spread malignancy during the procedure. But getting it evaluated or removed is a crucial step in the healing process.

2. Consuming sugar accelerates the growth of cancer.

No amount of cake or cookies will make your disease worse. According to the National Cancer Institute, although studies have shown that cancer cells absorb more sugar (glucose) than healthy cells do, neither have they demonstrated that eating sugar would make your cancer worse or that if you quit eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or vanish.

3. You don’t have to forgo small indulgences you like because you have cancer

If the tumor is solid, surgery won’t be required. With these solid tumors, surgery is always necessary, according to Dr. Alawin. Surgery is used to remove solid tumors even when other types of treatment are utilized to reduce their size or lessen the likelihood of the disease returning.

4. Cancer of the skin is colorless.

Skin cancer is more likely to affect persons with pale complexion than those with darker skin. Additionally, people who have green or blue eyes, blond or red hair, or skin that is easily burned or freckled are at a higher risk.

5. The side effects of chemotherapy are always negative

When chemotherapy was introduced, terrible side effects were widespread, but current medical advancements have helped reduce the chance of adverse consequences. Dr. Alawin a medical oncologist from the best cancer hospital asserts that “there are many positive things that we do to mitigate or even eliminate many of these adverse effects.”

6. A breast lump is always a sign of breast cancer

Finding a lump in your breast should be investigated by a doctor even if it does not necessarily indicate that you have breast cancer.. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, just a small number of breast lumps turn out to be cancer. However, if you find a persistent lump in your breast or detect any changes in breast tissue, it should never be disregarded.

7. Chemotherapy hurts

Although Dr. Alawin gives some confidence, some patients worry that their chemotherapy treatments may harm them. He responds, “The answer is no, chemotherapy is not uncomfortable.” Chemotherapy may have adverse effects, however, the infusion procedure or oral type of chemotherapy need not be uncomfortable.

8. Cancer therapy is unavailable to expectant mothers

In order to improve outcomes for both mother and fetus, pregnant women with cancer symptoms or concerns should visit their doctor as soon as possible. If a pregnant woman receives a cancer diagnosis, she may still have alternatives. Following chemotherapy, hair will not regrow.

9. Even while chemo patients are frequently portrayed as having no hair, this condition isn’t always permanent

Every time we finish or complete the chemotherapy treatment, it grows back 90% of the time, according to Dr. Alawin. Rarely, but that is the exception and the uncommon thing, it can be permanent.

10. Cancer will inevitably return

The likelihood of cancer returning is often lower in the early stages—stage I and II.

There is still a chance that it won’t come back, even later. says Dr. Alawin.

11. Oncologists don’t want their patients undergoing experimental therapies

While some individuals are reluctant to provide a natural treatment plan to their doctor, this hesitation is unjustified. Oncologists and cancer doctors, according to Dr. Alawin, “usually don’t feel guilty if the patient wishes to pursue a complementary or unorthodox strategy to treating cancer.” Most doctors don’t object if a patient wishes to attempt another sort of care, such as herbs, as long as it won’t conflict with the chemotherapy or standard of cancer therapies. Ask a knowledgeable oncologist if you have any concerns regarding your cancer diagnosis or treatment; they can dispel myths and assist in choosing the best course of action for you.

Ilham Sheikh
Author
ILHAM SHEIKH

I am Ilham sheikh and I am an oncologist (cancer doctor) in Gurgaon. I have more than 5 years of experience in treating cancer and I also love sharing knowledge regarding cancer.