Busting common myths about cancer

Updated on Nov 20, 2022 01:52 PM IST

Any queries about cancer diagnosis or treatment should ideally be taken up with an expert oncologist who can help clear up misconceptions and also determine the right cancer treatment. We got a doctor onboard to debunk some common myths about cancer and share facts

Busting common myths about cancer (Anna Tarazevich)
Busting common myths about cancer (Anna Tarazevich)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

According to a report, around 1,392,179 people in India had cancer in 2020 and the number is expected to go up in 2025 where the common types of cancer were breast, lung, mouth, cervix, uteri and tongue, as per the research. Did you know in men, the projected incidence was 94.1 per 100,000 individuals and for women it was 103.6 per 100,000 individuals for 2020, according to the Cancer Statistics Report, 2020?

Thus, cancer is not limited to any particular sex or age and can happen to people of every age group including children. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sunny Jain, MBBS, MD Oncology, Senior Consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi and HOD and Senior Consultant at Marengo QRG Hospital in Faridabad, shared, “Cancer is a disease in which the patient suffers from uncontrolled, unregulated, unwanted cell growth at a very rapid pace due to changes in the genetic programming of the cell.”

He said, “The most common and disturbing myth we encounter is ‘Biopsy leads to the spread of cancer’. This is one myth which hampers the cancer treatment as without biopsy we cannot confirm the cancer diagnosis. Second myth is ‘Consuming sugar will lead to the spread or increase the stage of cancer’. There is no evidence to support this fact. Though cancer cell consumes sugars but that does not mean consuming sugars will increase the cancer. If this myth was to be believed then all the diabetics should have been suffering from cancer!”

Addressing another myth which affects patient’s mental wellbeing that is ‘cancer spreads by sitting, eating, sleeping together or maybe touching the patient’, Dr Sunny Jain said, “Friends, cancer is not contagious unlike any other viral disease. Common myths like ‘Radiations from cellphones, chemicals from hair dyes, deodrant use causes cancer’ also need to be busted. It is also believed that ‘Hair will not regrow after chemotherapy’ leaving many hesitant to undergo treatment. While it may take a long time for hair to regrow, it does return in most cases—but it sometimes grows back in different texture or even colour.”

If you have any queries about cancer diagnosis or treatment, please reach out to an expert oncologist who can help clear up misconceptions and also determine the right cancer treatment.

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