ONCOLOGY ISSUES: Common cancer myths you should no longer dwell on - The Citizen

ONCOLOGY ISSUES: Common cancer myths you should no longer dwell on

Monday November 26 2018


By Chris Peterson

Nowadays, people fear the word ‘cancer’. Probably it’s because the disease has become so common. Of which, it’s not bad. Because it helps people to draw more awareness on the disease. It helps them understand the overall concept of the disease, its risk factors and all that someone needs to know about cancer.

Compared to previous days, doctors find it easier to raise awareness of cancer, thanks to the adequate access of information among our societies.

But I must confess that access of information, has on the other hand, rose somewhat fear in our societies, and this fear has led to a lot of misconceptions.

Social media and the internet plays its part too in triggering fear and misleading information. But not everything that you hear is true about cancer. Some remain as myths that you don’t really need to be concerned about. Today we will talk of two common myths.

Wearing bras especially tight ones can cause breast cancer

This is not medically true. Women have had problems while wearing bras. Breast pain, skin irritation, or even contact with an exposed underwire can cause discomfort. Speaking of those wires, some women are allergic to the metal and may develop a rash when a wire gets out of bounds. If your breasts are fibrocystic, or if your breasts are growing due to pregnancy, bras can certainly become uncomfortable. Very full breasts may cause back pain, muscle tension, or even headaches.

Have a professional bra fitting, or find your proper bra size to avoid bothersome bras. But there is no connection between breast cancer and bra, whether it is tight or loose.

The use of mobile phones and brain tumour

“Don’t use mobile phones too much, it will lead to brain cancer.” This is one of the most often heard myths in today’s age. Majority of people believe that mobile phones slowly puts its user in the risk of developing either brain tumour or brain cancer. Scientifically, cell phones (including smartphones) give off a form of energy known as radiofrequency (RF) waves, so some concerns have been raised about the safety of cell phone use. With respect to cancer, the concern focuses on whether cell phones might increase the risk of brain tumours or other tumours in the head and neck area.

Several dozen studies done by The American Cancer Society (ACSO), have looked at possible links between cell phone use and tumours.

Most of these studies have focused on brain tumours. Many of these have been case-control studies, in which patients with brain tumours (cases) were compared to people free of brain tumours (controls), in terms of their past cell phone use and the studies reached the conclusion that patients with brain tumours do not report more cell phone use overall than the controls.

This finding is true when all brain tumours are considered as a group, or when specific types of tumours are considered.

In addition, there is no any scientific approval that cellular phones cause brain tumour or cancer of the brain unlike how majority of the people perceive.