Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Debunking some of the most common myths about disease

Myths are unjustified beliefs that influence how we understand and react in many situations. They arise out of uncertainty to provide stability and shared meanings. The appeal of myths is that they offer plausible and often comforting explanations.

There are a lot of myths and misleading ideas about the causes of cancer.

Some of the most common myths that are recognizable to me are:

First one is that coffee causes cancer, but recent headlines claims that drinking coffee may have some health benefits.

Next one is that positive attitude is all you need to beat cancer. I think a positive attitude helps you become more informed and active during your treatment, but there's no scientific proof that a positive attitude improves your chance of being cured. Or what about "good people don't get cancer". How would you explain the newborn that gets cancer? These little ones haven't been bad. There's absolutely no evidence that you get cancer because you deserve it.

Or what about cell phones cause cancer, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and to ACS.

Artificial sweeteners cause cancer, seems to be a myth too, results from research studies do not provide clear evidence of an association between artificial sweeteners and human cancer.

Similar to this one is that bioengineered foods cause cancer, but there is no evidence that bioengineered foods increase or decrease cancer risk because of the added genes.

Another one is, that exposing a tumour to air during surgery causes cancer to spread. It might be possible that during surgery, it's discovered that disease is more widespread than previously thought, but an operation can't cause cancer to spread nor can it cause cancer to start.

Only women with a family history or small breasted women do not get breast cancer, as far as I know every women is at risk regardless of family or breast size, race or socioeconomic status. But of course if you do have a family history, your chances are increased.

Food additives cause cancer, well they help preserve, colour and flavour our food, but it is very unlikely that food additives cause cancer.

More myths at cancerbacup and here advocatehealth dispels common cancer misconceptions.

The mentioned myths have something in common; they all indicate that disease is self-inflicted and could have been avoided. If you don't drink coffee, if your are positive, if you don't use cell phone, if you don't eat artificial sweeteners, bioengineered or food additives, if you are good and so on, then you might be healthy.

(believers in "alternative ineffective" medicine claim that disease is self-inflicted, and they use the myths promoting themselves).

Myth seems to be a mixture between eastern religion, science and superstition, stories and legends. How do myths arise? from ignorance? or?

See who links to your web site.