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Cancer Facts: Debunking Cancer Myths and Where To Donate.

Updated on May 15, 2017

Let's talk about Cancer!

No, not the astrology sign. Everyone has either been affected by cancer, or know someone who has. To better understand what cancer is, we must ask the proper questions:

Q: What is Cancer

A: Cancer is a result of mutations (abnormal changes) in genes which are responsible for the growth and health of cells The genes are in the cell’s nucleus, which controls each cell. Usually, the cells in our bodies replenish themselves through the process of cell growth: new cells take over when old ones die. But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell. The changed cells keep dividing without control or order, producing more cells just like it. This forms a tumor.

There is still some mystery surrounding what causes particular cancers, especially those that occur during childhood. Established cancers can be influenced by lifestyle habits, such as tobacco use or body weight, and non-modifiable factors, such as genetic mutations, hormones, and immune conditions.



Cancerous Blood Cell
Cancerous Blood Cell

Q: How Many Types of Cancers Are There?

A: There are over 100 types of known cancer. Ranging from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia to Wilms Tumors. The most common types of cancer are; Breast, Prostate, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Colon Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphoma, Leukemia.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells in the breast. Breast cancer mostly begins in the cells of the lobules,(milk-producing glands) or the ducts, (passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipples). Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.

Prostate Cancer

Cancer that forms in a man's prostate, which is a small walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid. Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make / release mucus and other fluids).

Basal Cell Carcinoma:

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells - a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off..

Melanoma:

Melanoma are the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It starts in the melanocytes (pigment producing cells) found in outer layer of the skin. These cells grow out of control and form a tumour. Melanomas are often brown and black in colour but can show other shades..

Colon Cancer:

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the rectum and colon. It can begin as a polyp (tissue growth in the colon or rectum) Routine screening can help prevent colon cancer. Polyps that are found during routine screening can be removed easily before they become cancerous.

Lung Cancer:

Lung cancers are tumors that form from the cells lining airways of the respiratory system.

Lymphoma:

Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the hematopoietic functions of the lymph system. This results in the increase in numbers of lymphocytes. The lymphocytes form in the lymph tissues to make tumors.

Leukemia:

A malignant progressive disease where bone marrow and other blood-forming organs produce an increase in immature or abnormal leukocytes. This suppresses the production of normal blood cells, which can lead to anemia and other complications.

Some Cancer Facts

  • In 2017, about 190,500 of the estimated 600,920 cancer deaths in the Us will be caused by cigarette smoking, according to a recent study by American Cancer Society epidemiologists.
  • The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that 20% of all Cancers diagnosed in the US are caused by life style factors: excess body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol, consumption, and poor nutrition.
  • Certain Cancers caused by infectious agents, such as HPV, can be prevented through behavioral changes, vaccination, or treatment of the infection.
  • 15.5 million, or more, Americans with a history of Cancer were alive on January 1, 2016.
  • About 1,688,780 new Cancer cases are anticipated to be diagnosed in 2017.
  • About 600,920 Americans will be expected to die from Cancer in 2017, that's about 1,650 deaths a day!
  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, the first is heart disease.
  • Cancer usually accounts for 1 out of 4 deaths.

Myths and Misconceptions Debunked:

    1. Is Cancer a death sentence?

      In the US, the probability of dying from cancer has dropped at a steady rate since the 1990s. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, like breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now exceed 90 percent. The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is currently about 66 percent.

      The odds of surviving cancer is the greatest it's ever been. Thanks to all the doctors, research, and preventive measures. I think early detection is key in preventing cancer.
    2. Eating Sugar Will Make Cancer Worse.

      Nay. Although some cancers do consume more glucose than normal cells. Currently, there are no studies that show that eating sugar will make Cancer worse or that, reducing sugar intake will shrink cancer growth or make it vanish.

      Oh, good. I'd be sad if I had to give up sugar to prevent from getting cancer.
    3. Artificial Sweeteners Cause Cancer.

      Nada. Researchers concluded the safety of the artificial sweeteners. There's no scientific evidence that this causes an increased rate in cancer.

      Real sugar is better in my opinion, but this is good news for you guys that enjoy artificial sweeteners!
    4. Cancer Is Contagious.

      No, not in general. The only way that cancer spreads from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation. Although, some cancersare caused by certain viruses such as, human papillomavirus, or HPV, or bacteria like, Helicobacter pylori.

      There Is a lot of stigma around this, just like there's stigmas around people with AIDS. Giving a hug, holding hands or kissing will not spread this.
    5. Positive or Negative Attitudes Will Influence Recovery For Cancer.

      No, there's no current scientific evidence that this influences recovery from cancer. It's normal to grieve and feel sad where cancer is concerned. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer.

      If you have been diagnosed with cancer, and are reading this, I believe in you!
    6. Cancer Surgery or Tumor Biopsy Causes Cancer To Spread.

      Chances that Cancer will spread to other places of your body during these procedures are relatively low. Following standard procedure during surgery or biopsies help prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

      Good thing we have a lot of careful doctors!
    7. Cancer Gets Worse When Exposed To Air.

      Negatory. Air exposure will not make tumors grow or cause cancer to spread at a faster, or to other parts of the body.

      Sometimes I think ignorance increases with air, but that's my opinion. Ha!
    8. Cellphones Cause Cancer.

      Negative. Cellphones emit a type of low frequency that does not damage genes. Cancer is caused by mutation of genes.

      Oh good, I'm safe to use my phone.
    9. Power Lines Cause Cancer.

      There is no evidence to support these claims. Power lines emit electric and magnetic energy. The electric energy is weakened from shielding from walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emits a low frequency radiation that does not mutate genes.


    10. Herbal Products Cure Cancer.

      No, although there are some alternative or complementary therapies (Not cures) , which includes herbs, that help cope with the side effects of Cancer. In fact, Some herbal products may be harmful when combined with chemo treatments.

      There's a lot of alternative medicines that can be harmful to cancer treatment. Finding a good doctor, and discussing your route for treatment will be more productive.
    11. I Will Get Cancer Because People In My Family Have it.

      Not really. Cancer is caused by gene mutations. 5 to 10 percent cancers are caused by hereditary mutated genes. 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by factors throughout a person's life including, age and exposure to environmental factors.

      I have lost a lot of people in my family to cancer. Doesn't mean I'm home free. Regular check ups, get them!
    12. No One Has Cancer In My Family, I Am Risk Free.

      No. About 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with Cancer at some point in their lives. It all depends. Most cancers are caused by genetic changes that occur throughout a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. Other factors, such as what kind of food you eat, how much you eat, and whether you exercise, may also influence your risk of developing cancer.

      That percentage kind of scares me!
    13. Antiperspirants and Deodorants Cause Cancer.

      No. No evidence has been linked to deodorants causing Cancer.

      Good.
    14. Hair Dye Increases Risks For Cancer.

      No scientific evidence supports this claim. Although, some studies suggest that hairdressers and barbers who are exposed to hair dye and other chemicals in large quantities may have an increased risk for bladder Cancer.

      I really need to dye my roots!




Where to Donate

It is important to educate, and raise awareness. Share this with any one you know. I am providing links to Accredited Cancer Research Foundations. This could help save lives!

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    • Hannah Herrera profile image
      Author

      Hannah Herrera 4 months ago

      You're welcome. You should totally do a study! I'd read about it.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 months ago from the short journey

      Thanks for providing resources for contributing to cancer research. I've always meant to do a study on how many cancer misdiagnoses there are since I was once diagnosed but in fact did not have it.