Almost every single person in India knows somebody who is suffering from cancer. This isn’t surprising given that data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), released in 2016, showed that 14 lakh Indians were living with the disease Cancer is one of the scariest diseases known to man. There aren’t always any outward symptoms and some types of cancers aren’t treatable at all. Even if treatment is available, the cost of it can take a large financial toll on the patient and his/her family. What makes the disease even more difficult to deal with are the number of myths that are perpetuated about it.
Every year, 4th of February is commemorated as World Cancer Day. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) introduced the day to help spread awareness about the disease and inspire people to ask for help when required. So this year, we’ve decided to bust some myths and spread a little light while talking about tackling the Big C.
Myth 1: Cancer is Contagious
Despite the fact that a number of people believe they can contract the disease simply by spending time in a room with somebody who has cancer, the fact of the matter is that cancer is not contagious. There are many different causes of cancer, and while strains of the disease are spread through bacteria and virus, it isn’t right to assume that all cancers can be transferred through face-to-face interactions.
Myth 2: Family History Is the Only Thing That Matters
An alarming number of people believe that if nobody in their family has had cancer, they’re not at all at risk. Conversely – a large chunk of the population is also of the belief that if a relative had cancer, they will 100% get cancer. Neither statement is true at all. While having a family history of cancer may increase the chances of being diagnosed with the disease, it isn’t a sure thing.
Myth 3: There’s No Way to Prevent Cancer
In all honesty, this is partly true. There isn’t a vaccine or medicine that people can take to immunise themselves from cancer. Having said that, there are definitely a few things that every individual can do to try and keep the disease at bay. To start with, people should be mindful of the food and drinks they’re consuming. It’s also a good idea to stay away from tobacco products. Finally, getting regular tests done to screen for cancer is most important. Regular tests can help detect cancer at an early stage, which is easier to treat.