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A few myths about cancer

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Cancer spares no one.

The insidiousness of this disease sometimes inspires irrational fear, which engenders a lot of myths.

Can you get cancer, do injuries, diet and cell phones affect the development of cancer?

1. Cancer can be infected-No.

Cancer is the degeneration of one's own cells, so you can not get it from someone. Although this rule has several exceptions.

The first is the cancer of the Tasmanian devils, the largest surviving marsupial predators. The disease, manifested by huge tumors on the muzzle of the animal, is transmitted directly by the cancer cells, when the devils bite each other. For a person, this cancer is not dangerous.

The second exception is the types of cancer associated with certain viruses, for example, the human papillomavirus or hepatitis C virus. These viruses are most often transmitted sexually and significantly increase the risk of cervical and liver cancer, respectively.

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2. Hair falls out of the cancer

The loss of facial and body hair is a consequence of chemo and radiotherapy, and not of the disease itself. Moreover, modern target methods have relatively little impact on the body as a whole, so that often patients do not grow bald.

3. Diet does not affect the appearance of cancer

Many people are sure that a diet can not increase the risk of developing cancer. However, numerous studies have shown that some products statistically significantly increase the chance of getting a bad diagnosis. One of the most dangerous dishes were cooked on the grill, open fire or just on a very hot frying pan meat or poultry. This way of cooking leads to the formation in the dish of heterocyclic amines - substances with proven carcinogenic properties. Regular intake of food containing these compounds increases the risk of developing several types of cancer at once.

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4. Cancer is always painful.

If this statement were true, much fewer people would die of cancer, simply because patients would have sought help before. Often the pain appears only in the last stages of cancer. On the other hand, some types of cancer are manifested with pain already at the initial stage, so do not delay with a visit to the doctor for any symptoms not similar to your usual ailments.

5. Cell phones and other electronic devices cause cancer.

None of the large-scale population studies found a connection between the use of cell phones and the increase in the incidence of cancer. But the connection between regular conversations on mobile driving and the increase in the risk of an accident is very clearly traced.

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6. The use of deodorant antiperspirant increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

This fear has existed since antiperspirants appeared on the market, but all studies to test this hypothesis have produced a negative result.

7. Injuries increase the risk of cancer in a damaged area.

This belief was especially popular in the XIX century - this view was held even by some doctors. Later studies have refuted this hypothesis of cancer, although this does not apply to sunburn, which really increases the likelihood of developing skin cancer.

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8. Breast cancer occurs only in women

This is not true. Annually, only in the United States about 1,500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 500 male patients die from this disease.

9. Living in a smoky metropolis contributes to the development of lung cancer much more than smoking.

Most likely, this myth was invented by smokers trying to convince themselves that their habit is not so dangerous. But statistics argue that the main cause of lung cancer is still cigarettes - they are responsible for about 87% of all cases of this disease. However, it is impossible to completely cut ecology: recent studies have shown that in recent years, the incidence of lung cancer has increased significantly in those who have never smoked. But the proportion of these patients is still insignificant in comparison with the ill smokers.

10. Pharmaceutical companies have long come up with a cure for cancer, just hide it.

Many believe that a miracle cure has already been found, but pharmaceutical companies hide it in order to continue to earn money by selling inefficient drugs to patients. It's a myth: the relatives and close managers of drug companies die from cancer with the same frequency as ordinary people. In addition, the cancer is extremely heterogeneous, so it will not be possible to manage any one drug.