Myths and facts
- In most cases, if you develop cancer it is because a family member has had it.
The correct answer is FALSE. Only 1 out every 20 cases is genetically related, and genes are not the only related factor.
- High levels of alcohol consumption may increase our risk of having cancer.
The correct answer is TRUE. Alcohol consumption may contribute to the development of cancers of the mouth, colon, liver, breast, and others. It doesn't matter if we drink beer, wine, or hard liquor—the more we drink, the more likely we are to have cancer.
- Artificial sweeteners may cause cancer.
The correct answer is FALSE.There is no evidence suggesting that sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine, or sucralose cause cancer in humans. Newer sugar substitutes such as sorbitor and stevia also appear to be safe.
- Deodorant use increases the risk of breast cancer.
The correct answer is FALSE. It is safe to use deodorant. To date, no robust studies and scant empirical evidence have indicated that deodorant use increases the likelihood of developing cancer.
- What types of food are associated with risk of colon cancer?
- Processed meats
The correct answer is PROCESSED MEATS. People who eat lots of processed meats such as hot dogs and cold cuts are more likely to have colon cancer. The link is not yet completely clear, although it could be because of nitrates. Nitrates are the chemical substances that are added to foods to deter bacteria growth and preserve color. Red meat is also linked to colon cancer. In general, try to limit the amount of red meat in your diet, choosing other sources of protein such as chicken or fish.
- Which of these treatments can relieve nausea?
- Magnet therapy
The correct answer is ACUPUNCTURE. Acupuncture can help with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and also alleviates mouth dryness in patients undergoing radiotherapy. If you are being treated for cancer and wish to try acupuncture, you should first talk to your doctor.
- Biopsy may cause most types of cancer cells to spread.
The correct answer is FALSE. When taking a biopsy, doctors take a small tissue sample from the body in order to determine what kind of cancer it is. It is very unlikely that this procedure can cause the cancer to spread.
- How can I reduce my chance of developing cancer?
- Avoid stress
The correct answer is EXERCISE. In addition to a healthy diet and controlling our weight, exercise may make it less likely to develop certain types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer. However, even people who remain active should participate in doctor-recommended cancer-screening programs.