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Cancer Myths

Posted 9/6/2013

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There are cancer myths that just won't go away. They may go underground for a while, but then you see an article, often a large headline in a tabloid while you are standing at the check out counter, or you get an email, and there it is: Antiperspirant causes breast cancer or not managing your anger causes cancer. It would be interesting to see a study about why these ridiculous rumors persist, but I suspect the answers include our wish for control and the wish of healthy people to point at something and say: "AHA! That is why you have cancer, and I don't." They wish.....

This is from The Guardian about six myths that live on and on. To close out the work week and for your amusement, here is the start and then a link to read more:

Six stubborn myths about cancer

The internet is awash with misinformation about cancer, with potentially tragic consequences for patients

There are few illnesses as terrifying in the public consciousness as . With up to a third of us getting cancer at some stage in our lives, it is almost impossible to remain untouched by the disease. As an ominous reminder of our mortality, cancer scares us to the point that discussions about it are often avoided and the language we use is couched in euphemisms.

The recent Channel 4 documentary told the story of Neon Roberts, a young boy whose treatment for a brain tumour was halted by his mother Sally, who remained convinced that radiotherapy would cause long­term harm and wanted to try alternative medical treatments.

After a difficult court battle, , leaving his mother somewhat unimpressed. "Death by doctor is very common, but thankfully, because of the internet these days a number of us have educated ourselves," she says in the documentary. "There's so many other options that we've been deprived of, denied."

The Neon Roberts case is tragic and reveals the quagmire of misinformation that surrounds the disease, but Ms Roberts's comment should not be completely dismissed. Misguided though she might be, her point that the internet is full of information about cancer cannot be denied. Much of it is dubious and outlandish, but differentiating between fact and fiction can be difficult and a host of myths about cancer have found new life online.

While it would be impossible to address all the legends on the subject, it is worth dispelling some of the more persistent misunderstandings.

Read more.


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