3 Common Cancer Myths

Cancer, America’s second leading cause of death, is and always has been somewhat mysterious. Even after decades and decades of rigorous study, scientists have not yet pinpointed the exact reason some people contract the awful disease when others do not. Luckily, though, we have learned a great deal about the ubiquitous disease. For instance, we know that a great deal of unprotected sun exposure can heighten one’s risk for skin cancer. We know that obesity, age, and cigarette smoking are serious cancer risk factors.

Yet even with all of this knowledge, there are still significant misconceptions when it comes to cancer. For instance, many still falsely believe that the infinitesimally small amount of radiation emitted by cell phones can cause cancer. Let’s debunk some of the more insidious cancer myths. There are many legitimate reasons to be wary of cancer; here are three reasons to put your mind at ease.

This is a deeply held cancer myth. The fact remains, however, that all artificial sweeteners that have been approved by the FDA have been shown to have no correlation with cancer contraction. The ones that have not been approved (which, by the way, have also shown little to no evidence of causing cancer) are not sold in the United States. Fake sugars pose their own dangers, but cancer has not proven to be one of them. When it comes to cancer, don’t worry about that Diet Coke.

Myth #2 Cancer is an immediate death sentence
Although we have not found a cure for cancer, the scientific community has made great strides in the fight against the disease in just a few short years. According to the National Cancer Institute, “The likelihood of dying from cancer has dropped steadily since the 1990s. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now exceed 90 percent. The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is currently about 66 percent.” When it comes to cancer, we may not have yet won the war, but our battle victories are piling up. Even if the unthinkable should be diagnosed, do not despair.

Myth #3 Folks-who-dye-their-hair-are-at-a-greater-risk-for-cancer
Once again, the National Cancer Institute weighs in on a common misconception. “There is no convincing scientific evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer.” The chemicals in many hair dyes are simply not harmful enough to cause cancer in the quantity it takes to change your hair from drab to fab. However, those who work closely with the chemicals may have reason to change their ways.

If you want to learn more about cancer myths, visit the National Cancer Institute website, from which these examples were drawn. Cancer is scary enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about your hair dye.

Last updated: 04.02.2018

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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