43 Myths About Cancer You Need To Stop Believing

Myth: Cancer is a disease

There are actually hundreds of types of cancer. Each has a unique molecular signature and variable clinical expression. In my neuro-oncology subspecialty, we have identified at least 120 subtypes of brain and spinal cord cancer. With such a diverse enemy, our diagnostic and therapeutic approaches must expand.

Myth: Superfoods can prevent or cure cancer

People think that there is one food or one type of food that can solve all their cancer problems and reduce their risk of cancer, but the evidence is simply not there. What we see from the perspective of the evidence is that the overall dietary pattern makes a difference. Now, there are certainly foods that I consider ‘super’ that are actually healthy and packed with nutrients, like colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein sources like fish and beans. We should be eating lots of them, just not with the idea that any one of them will prevent cancer.

Myth: Cancer is hereditary; you can only get it if it runs in your family

There are family patterns of inheritance with many forms of cancer, however the most common forms of cancer are often not related to genetics. More importantly, even if a cancer is genetic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will express that cancer. The medical field does not yet fully understand why certain patients will develop cancer while other family members with similar genetics and environmental exposures will not. The bottom line: all people should live their lives in the healthiest way possible to avoid all disease, which should include their physical and mental health.


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