The very name of the disease strikes fear into the hearts of many. And this fear originates from flawed conceptions which become ingrained in the minds of people. Of course there are plausible reasons for this. Cancer by default has no particular or specific cause of occurrence; there are only habits, activities or genetic factors which trigger the same. Albeit a lot have been unearthed in this field, a lot still remains unanswered. But that is no reason for people to be led astray by the myths about cancer which are not only baseless, but also responsible for putting certain psychological restraints on people afflicted with cancer and are on their path of possible recovery. Let’s have a cursory look at some of these cancer myths and the corresponding truth which ousts the former.

Does cancer augur the final countdown?

To those who think that cancer necessitates death sooner or later, how about this: millions of patients survive cancer across the globe. You’ve got to acknowledge the path breaking innovations and advances in cancer treatment for this math. The good news is that earlier a person is screened and diagnosed for cancer, higher is the likelihood of giving him/her the precise treatment and mitigating the ailment. According to certain authentic sources, if diagnosed in early stages, as many as 3 to 4 people have greater chances of survival up to 5 years or more.

It’s become a family heirloom!

“My great grandfather died of cancer. My father died of cancer. Now cancer is going to claim my life.” This has been a very common cancer myth; a paranoia among many who have seen family members die from this disease. Let’s extract the truth out of this. Cancer originates due to certain alterations in the genetic patterns of a person and a majority of such cases of alterations come forth in the later stage of life and are nowhere near hereditary in nature. But it is true that some genetic changes are inherited and they are better looked into by your doctor.

Nothing can be done about it!

There are people who are of the idea that they can literally do nothing about cancer; if cancer has to occur it will, come what may and so on. But this is not entirely true. Yes, there are genetic factors which we cannot influence independently, but there are certain risk factors which are essentially under our control and we can attend to. As mentioned earlier, there are certain behavioral aspects which trigger the onset of a potential cancer. From living a sedentary lifestyle to excessive smoking and drinking, these actually catalyses abnormal cell growth and aggravates the cancer that has started budding.

Striving to maintain a healthy body weight cuts short the risks of several cancers. Getting HPV vaccines wards off infection from the virus that causes most cervical cancers. Needless to say what wonders it might work if one quits smoking. These are practical exercises which when turned into a habit can reduce the risks of cancer drastically.

These are some of the cancer myths which are in dire need of being busted so that they don’t stand in the way of patients fighting to survive this blight. The more we are informed about the preventive aspects of cancer treatment, the easier it becomes for us to mitigate the disease. Watch this space for more myth-busters which will be discussed subsequently.

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Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute
Road No 10, Banjara Hills,
Hyderabad, 500034, Telangana, India.
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+ 91 40 2355 1235

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