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Top 10 Cancer Myths

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Updated February 05, 2014

Throughout the years there have been many cancer myths floating around. The question is: Is there any truth to these cancer myths? Keep reading and learn fact from fiction!

1. Hair dye causes brain cancer.

There has been a lot of speculation about hair dye and cancer. It has been thought that hair dye caused several different types of cancers like bladder and breast cancer, but there is no evidence of it causing brain tumors. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on May 25, hair dye does not increase the risk of developing cancer. This cancer myth is believed by many Americans.

2. Cell phones cause cancer.

Contrary to popular belief, cell phones are not believed to be a cause of cancer. There is no credible study available that consistently proves that using a cell phone has the ability to cause cancer.

3. If your mom or dad had cancer, you will have it too.

While it is true that some cancers are genetic, this does not mean that one will definitely develop cancer because of their heredity. Cancers such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer are a few of the cancers that can be passed down genetically. If a parent has these cancers, the cancer gene may be passed to their child. If a child inherits the gene, it only raises the likelihood of developing cancer, not guaranteeing a cancer sentence.

4. Cancer causes hairloss.

Cancer does not cause hair loss. Hair loss is a side effect of cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Not everyone who has chemotherapy or radiation loses their hair either.

5. Only women get breast cancer.

This is by far the biggest cancer myth of all. Men get breast cancer also! An estimated 1500 men will be diagnosed and about 500 will die from the disease this year. Male breast cancer is uncommon, yet still happens.

6. There is a cure for cancer, but pharmaceutical companies are hiding it.

This is one cancer myths that drives every medical professional crazy! If this is true, then why do loved ones of drug company researchers still die of cancer at the same rate as the general population? What some people don't realize is that many forms of cancer are curable!

7. Cancer is almost always fatal.

Yes, cancer can cause death. But new breakthroughs in early detection of cancer have made it much more treatable. It is estimated that 40% of cancer patients reach or exceed the five year survivor mark!

8. Wearing antiperspirants and deodorant can cause cancer.

According to the National Cancer Society, there is no conclusive evidence from recent studies that wearing them can cause breast cancer. This cancer myth is by far one of the most popular among women.

9. Some types of cancer can be contagious.

No type of cancer is contagious. However, there are two known contagious viruses, HPV and Hepatitis C, that can cause cancer. HPV is a known risk factor for cervical cancer and Hep C causes liver cancer. Both viruses can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, although Hep C is more often transmitted through blood to blood contact such as sharing needles and transfusions (prior to 1992).

10. Positive thinking will cure cancer.

While maintaining a positive outlook during cancer treatment is essential, it will not cure cancer. Being optimistic helps with quality of life during treatment. There is no scientific evidence that a positive attitude will cure cancer.
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