Preventions, cures and causes: Top 10 cancer myths debunked

 


CAN superfoods prevent cancer? Is there a miracle cure? Can sugar make it worse? We unravel some of the most common cancer myths

There are few illness as terrifying as cancer, and with up to a third of us getting it at some stage in our life it is almost impossible to be unfazed by the life-threatening disease.
And to make matters worse there are millions of web pages out there misinforming people about the preventions, cures and causes. In fact, if you google "cancer" you will be inundated with incorrect information.
We have teamed up with Cancer Research UK to distinguish fact from fiction.
1. Cancer is a manmade modern disease
Cancer has existed as long as humans have. It was described thousands of years ago by Egyptian and Greek physicians, and researchers have discovered tell-tale signs of cancer in a 3,000-year-old skeleton.
The only reason people think it is a modern disease is because it is more prominent in the public consciousness and we know more about it. We are also better at diagnosing it thanks to medical advances.
Modern influences such as smoking do dramatically increase your risks but one in six worldwide cases is caused by viruses and bacteria.
famous cancer myths debunked
2. Cancer is on the rise
There is some truth in the fact that lifestyle related diseases like cancer are on the rise. The biggest risk factor for cancer is age and because people are living longer they are more likely to develop the disease. 
Lifestyle also has a huge impact on your risks of getting cancer. Smoking for instance is behind a quarter of all cancer deaths in the UK.
3. Superfoods prevent cancer
Foods such as blueberries, beetroot, broccoli, garlic and green tea have been labelled as "superfoods" but there is actually no such thing. It is a marketing ploy to help sell products.
However watching what you eat is important and some foods are healthier than others. Stocking up on fruit and vegetables is a great idea, and eating a range of different veg is helpful too, but the specific vegetables you choose doesn’t really matter.
Our bodies are complex and cancer is too, so it’s gross over-simplification to say that any one food, on its own, could have a major influence over your chance of developing cancer.
The best way of reducing risk of cancer is by a series of long-term healthy behaviours such as not smoking, keeping active, keeping a healthy body weight and cutting back on alcohol.
4. Acidic diets cause cancer
One myth that seems to be standing the test of time is that eating a diet high in acid can increase your risk of cancer. The proposed answer is to eat a diet high in alkaline foods like green vegetables and fruit to counteract it.
This is biological nonsense. Although it is true that cancer cells can't survive in an overly alkaline environment, neither can any of the other cells in your body.
Blood is usually slightly alkaline and is regulated by the kidneys and it can't be changed for any meaningful amount of time by what you eat.
There’s no good evidence to prove that diet can manipulate whole body pH, or that it has an impact on cancer.
5. Sugar makes cancer worse 
All cells use sugar, not just cancer cells. Some people believe that sugar feeds cancer cells and so should be banned from a patient's diet. However this is a massive oversimplification of a highly complex topic.
"Sugar" refers to a range of molecules including simple sugars found in plants, glucose and fructose. The white stuff you put in your tea is called sucrose and is made from glucose and fructose. 
All sugars are carbohydrates and whether you eat a cake or a carrot it gets broken down in our digestive system to release glucose and fructose. These get absorbed into the bloodstream to provide energy for us. All our cells, cancerous or not, use glucose for energy. 
Because cancer cells are usually growing very fast compared with healthy cells, they have a particularly high demand for this fuel. There’s also evidence that they use glucose and produce energy in a different way from healthy cells, but researchers are working to understand the differences.
While it’s very sensible to limit sugary foods as part of an overall healthy diet and to avoid putting on weight, there is no proof that sugary foods specifically feed cancer cells.
6. Cancer is a fungus – and sodium bicarbonate is the cure
This theory comes from the observation that “cancer is always white”.
Firstly cancer cells are not fungal in origin, and secondly cancer isn’t always white.
Proponents of this theory say that cancer is caused by infection by the fungus candida, and that tumours are actually the body’s attempt at protecting itself from this infection. But there is no evidence to show that this is true.
These theorists think the simple solution is to inject tumours with baking soda. 
Not only have there been no published clinical trials of sodium bicarbonate as a treatment for cancer, but there’s actually evidence that high doses of sodium bicarbonate can lead to serious, and even fatal consequences.
7. There is a miracle cancer cure
From cannabis to coffee enemas, the internet is awash with videos and personal anecdotes about natural, miracle cures for cancer.
Unfortunately there is no evidence to back up these theories. That’s not to say the natural world isn’t a source of potential treatments, for instance, the cancer drug taxol was first extracted from the bark and needles of the Pacific Yew tree.
But the abundance of YouTube videos and blogs claiming to have found "miracle cures" have no real scientific backing.
8. There is a cure for cancer but it is being hidden from the public
Some people believe that governments, the pharmaceutical industry and even charities are hiding the cure for cancer because they make so much money out of existing treatments.
But it simply doesn’t make sense that pharmaceutical companies would want to suppress a potential cure. Finding a highly effective therapy would guarantee huge worldwide sales so why wouldn't they want to sell it?
And when it comes to charities such as Cancer Research UK and government-funded scientists, they are free to investigate promising treatments without a profit motive.
9. We’ve made no progress in fighting cancer
This simply isn’t true. Thanks to advances in research, survival from cancer has doubled in the UK over the past 40 years, and death rates have fallen by 10 per cent over the past decade alone. 
10. Sharks don't get cancer 
This unusual myth has been circulating the web but there is no truth in it. Sharks also suffer from cancer. 
Source - Express
Preventions, cures and causes: Top 10 cancer myths debunked 4.5 5 Josh Murdoch CAN superfoods prevent cancer? Is there a miracle cure? Can sugar make it worse? We unravel some of the most common cancer myths There...

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