8 Common Misconceptions About Cancer

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Your best defense against cancer is to have the right knowledge along with routine screening. While cancer has created a social stigma, many people aren’t still aware of the real nature of cancer. Fortunately, the perception of cancer has remarkedly changed through the years with the help of modern technology. Also, continuous healthcare education through online channels and improvement of the healthcare delivery system help transform people’s lives, increasing their chances of cancer survival. 

In this article, you’ll learn the common misconceptions about cancer to increase your awareness and understanding of cancer risk assessment, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. 

Common Misconceptions About Cancer

1. Only Tissue Biopsy Can Detect Cancer 

Biopsy or obtaining a tissue sample of the suspected body organ or tumor is a confirmatory test of ruling out cancer. The sample tissue is sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination. This diagnostic procedure has been a gold standard in cancer detection. But with the advancement of technology, scan studies have been created, helping in the early detection of cancer. 

The following some of the ways to detect cancer: 

  • Full-Body MRI: They will scan the patient’s body to see if there are potential signs of cancer or issue. This will help in the diagnosis and treatment of the issue found in the body.

Ezra is a website online that offers a full-body MRI scan which can only take an hour, screening cancer up to 13 organs. You can visit their website to learn more about their services. 

  • Genetic And Genomic Tests: They’re the new frontier in screening cancer, in which they detect changes in genes and predict how a tumor might behave. For instance, women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a high risk for ovarian and breast cancers. 
  • Biomarkers: They find substances in the urine, blood, and other body fluids, sometimes signaling cancer. Also, biomarkers can predict how a patient might respond to cancer treatment. 
  • Liquid Biopsies: A blood test could help detect many different cancers, finding cancer DNA circulating in the blood. 

2. A Tumor Is Cancer 

Abnormal cells grow and become tumors, which is often felt as a lump or detected on an x-ray. A tumor can be classified as malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous). A malignant tumor grows into surrounding tissues. Cancer cells metastasize or spread to other organs of the body. On the other hand, a benign tumor doesn’t have the ability to metastasize.

3. Chemotherapy Is Painful 

There’s a common misconception that chemotherapy hurts. Generalized pain, headaches, chronic muscle pain, and other body pains are common after chemotherapy. Tension and stress can also cause these effects after a cancer diagnosis. Also, nerve damage because of chemotherapy may cause pain.  

While chemotherapy causes some discomfort or side effects after administration, IV chemotherapy shouldn’t cause any pain during administration. If ever you experience pain, call the nurse to check your IV line.  

4. Breast Cancer Only Occurs in Women 

Breast cancers usually in the breast ducts or part of the breast that carries milk to the nipples, known as ductal cancer. In some cases, breast cancer begins in the glands that produce breast milk, called lobular cancers. A small number of breast cancer cases begin in other breast tissues called lymphomas and sarcomas. 

While breast cancer is a common health issue in women worldwide, men can also develop breast cancer. Until puberty (about 9 or 10 years old), boys and girls have breast tissue with a few ducts under the nipple and the area around the nipple(areola).  

At puberty, the ovaries produce female hormones that cause the growth of breast ducts and lobules. Even after puberty, men have low female hormone levels, so their breast tissues don’t grow much. They have breast ducts and glands, even if they aren’t functional. 

5. There’s No Such Thing as Cancer Vaccine 

Messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA genes encode proteins. These molecules in cells carry DNA codes to protein synthesis sites (in the ribosomes), which eventually become known as mRNA. 

With the new era of MRNA vaccines, cancer vaccines have been developed. BioNTech developed a personalized cancer vaccine. The vaccine was developed using a patient’s cancer tissue samples in which genetic markers were identified, and mRNA was used to stimulate the immune response. Generally, mRNA trains the immune system to eradicate specific cancer in the body. 

Here are the good-to-know facts about cancer vaccines: 

  • Cancer vaccines work with the immune system, like the shots to prevent chickenpox and measles.  
  • Some cancer vaccines prevent cancer while others treat the disease. For instance, the HPV vaccine helps prevent the cervical cancer-causing virus.   
  • Cancer vaccines boost the body’s immune system against cancer. 

6. Cancer Is Curable 

Cancer is the USA’s second-leading cause of death behind heart disease, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While many studies, treatments, and diagnostic procedures have been developed to detect and treat cancer, there’s still no true cure for this medical condition.  

A cure gets rid of all possible traces from the body, ensuring cancer won’t come back. On the other hand, remission means only a few signs of cancer, while complete remission means no detectable signs of cancer in the body.  

Even after complete remission, cancer cells can stay in the body, which usually happens within the first five years. While some doctors say ‘cancer has been cured, they usually refer to cancer that doesn’t recur or come back within five years.  

7. Biopsy Can Spread Cancer  

Many people are worried that biopsy can disrupt the cancer cells and spread in surrounding tissues and distant body organs. However, there’s no evidence that biopsy can spread cancer cells. Testing or removing a tumor during a biopsy won’t make the tumor grow. 

8. Eating Sugar Exacerbates Cancer  

You don’t have to miss out on eating sugary foods when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Consuming a piece of cake won’t exacerbate cancer. Also, there’s no evidence that when you stop eating sugar will shrink malignant tumors. 

Conclusion 

You’ve just learned the most common misconceptions about cancer. Not all tumors are cancerous, only if they spread and affect other body organs. Men also have breast tissue, predisposing them to breast cancer, in which cancer cells can spread to other body areas.  

With the latest discoveries about cancer, vaccines are now available to help prevent and treat this medical condition. Cancer isn’t curable, but it can be treated to avoid remissions. Also, eating sugary foods won’t aggravate cancer. Biopsy won’t spread cancer cells, and IV chemotherapy shouldn’t be painful. 

So this was it for today, I hope you have enjoyed reading Common Misconceptions About Cancer Helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a Good Day!


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Chelsea Brown

Chelsea Brown is a medical technologist with years of experience assisting patients for Ezra full body scan. She imparts diagnostic education through her blog articles. Chelsea is also a holistic approach advocate. She loves swimming, playing badminton, and collecting smartwatches.

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