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Some myths about cancer

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Cancer spares no one.

The insidiousness of this disease sometimes inspires people with irrational fear, which generates many myths.

Is it possible to get cancer, do injuries, diet and cell phones affect the development of cancer.

1. Cancer Can Be Infected - No.

Cancer is the degeneration of the body’s own cells, so you cannot get it from someone. Although there are several exceptions to this rule.

The first is the cancer of the Tasmanian devils, the largest living marsupial predators. The disease, manifested by huge tumors on the animal's face, is transmitted directly by the cancer cells when the devils bite each other. For humans, this cancer is not dangerous.

The second exception is the types of cancer associated with certain viruses, such as human papillomavirus or hepatitis C. These viruses are transmitted most often through sexual contact and significantly increase the risk of cervical and liver cancer, respectively.

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2. Cancer hair falls out

Loss of hair on the face and body is a consequence of chemo and radiotherapy, and not the disease itself. Moreover, modern targeted methods have relatively little effect on the body as a whole, so that often patients do not go bald.

3. Diet does not affect the appearance of cancer

A lot of people are sure that a diet cannot increase the risk of developing cancer. However, numerous studies have shown that some products statistically significantly increase the likelihood of getting a bad diagnosis. One of the most dangerous dishes turned out to be grilled, an open fire or just in a very hot pan, meat or poultry. This cooking method leads to the formation in a dish of heterocyclic amines - substances with proven carcinogenic properties. Regular consumption of food containing these compounds increases the risk of several types of cancer.

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4. Cancer - it always hurts

If this statement were true, far fewer people would die from cancer - simply because patients would have sought help before. Often, pain appears only in the last stages of cancer. On the other hand, some types of oncological diseases are already painful at the initial stage, so you should not delay visiting a doctor if any symptoms appear that are 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 an increase in the incidence of cancer. But there is a very clear relationship between regular talking on a mobile while driving and an increased risk of an accident.

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

This fear has existed since antiperspirants began to be sold, but all studies to test this hypothesis have yielded a negative result.

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

This belief was especially popular in the 19th century - even some doctors adhered to this point of view. Recent studies have disproved this hypothesis of cancer, although this does not apply to sunburns, which really increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer.

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8. Breast cancer only occurs in women.

This is not true. About 1,500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States alone, and about 500 male patients die from the disease.

9. Life 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 claim that cigarettes remain the main cause of lung cancer - they are responsible for about 87% of all cases of this disease. However, it is impossible to completely discount the environment: recent studies have shown that in recent years, cases of lung cancer in those who have never smoked have become noticeably more frequent. But the proportion of such patients compared with ill smokers is still negligible.

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

Many are sure that a miracle cure has already been found, but pharmaceutical companies are hiding it in order to continue to make big money by selling ineffective drugs to patients. This is a myth: relatives and friends of drug companies die from cancer with the same frequency as ordinary people. In addition, cancer is extremely heterogeneous, so it will not be possible to manage with one drug alone.