Cancer Treatment Myths: Which Or How Much Of Them Are True?


Cancer is a very emotional subject, and almost every family in the world has lived through one of these complicated illnesses. Still, a lot of people still get cancer wrong. Because there is so much information on the internet and other places, it can be hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

In the best case, this can leave patients, their friends, and family confused and open to false information. In the worst case, it can make them ready to try dangerous “treatments” and “cures.” I busted six common cancer myths a little over three years ago. But since new myths come up and information changes, I thought it would be a good idea to start the year by busting some new myths and some that just won’t go away.

Some Special Foods Can Help You Beat Or Avoid Cancer

It’s interesting to think that something as simple as what you eat can have a direct effect on cancer. A cancer diagnosis can be very scary, so the idea of being able to take some control is comforting. In the past few years, “cancer-beating” diets have gotten a lot of attention on social media. One very well-known “anti-cancer” food is the alkaline diet. People who support these diets think that an acidic diet makes cancer more likely and that an alkaline diet is the answer.

People worry about acidity because healthy cells get most of their energy from breathing air, but cancerous cells use glucose more quickly and inefficiently than healthy cells. The breakdown of glucose into energy, which is known as glycolysis, creates acidic waste products. This makes the area around cells that use this method more acidic. The Warburg effect is the fact that cancer cells need glucose more than normal, even when there is enough air.

Otto Warburg said in 1924 that this change in metabolism to glycolysis might be what causes cancer. Further research revealed that the switch comes from the changes that cause cancer. In other words, it’s a result of cancer rather than the cause.

In other words, an alkaline diet can’t hurt cells that are dangerous. It’s also not true that you can change the acidity or alkalinity of tissues through your food, even if it could. Our blood and brains tightly control how acidic our tissues are, and what we eat can’t change that. For example, our food can mostly only change how acidic our urine is.

Another common lie is that some foods, especially sugar, “feed” cancer. Being overweight does raise the risk of getting cancer, but the idea that sugar itself causes cancer is not true. Glucose is a simple sugar that all cells in the body need, even stem cells. You can get glucose from any carbohydrate, like chocolate or veggies. But “sugary” carbs don’t tend to stick to cancer cells more than other carbs.

It’s Not Clear That Eating Too Much Red Meat Can Cause Cancer

This is related to the ketogenic diet for cancer, which says that cutting out carbs can stop the production of glucose and kill cancer cells. There are even people who say that ketogenic diets get rid of the need for chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It makes sense that this sounds appealing, but there is no proof for this claim. In fact, there isn’t a lot of reliable data to back up claims made about the diet. Professor David Gorski wrote a lot about this topic.

In the end, good eating is important for people with cancer and for everyone’s health, but no diet can cure cancer, no matter how appealing the pictures look in a diet book or on Pinterest.

Natural Medicines, Homeopathy, And Cannabis Oil Can Help Treat Cancer?

Some cancer patients wonder if there is a more “natural” way to treat their condition instead of chemotherapy. Cannabinoids, homeopathy, or a plant supplement might be able to get rid of cancer without the bad side effects that come with chemo and radiation therapy. Also, something “natural” might work better than something made by a drug company, which is likely the case since they are only interested in making money (more on this later).

As a “treatment” that doesn’t involve chemotherapy, cannabis and its products, like cannabis oil, are pretty much at the top of the list. This is not a surprise since people have been using weed for hundreds of years for both fun and health reasons. THC in cannabis is known to help people who are feeling sick stop vomiting, and medicines made from it have been used to treat pain and sickness for decades.

Beyond this, though, claims that cannabis can help treat cancer are not backed up by data, as a recent large-scale US study found. As these very thorough reviews by the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Research UK also show, there isn’t enough evidence to back cannabis as a cancer treatment right now.

Cannabis might not be able to cure cancer, but THC can help in some ways. But homeopathy is not like that at all. There have been many studies that show that homeopathy doesn’t work at all. In fact, its main ideas are clearly wrong and go against everything we know about physics. Homeopathy is still popular, though. Even though the preparations may not be physically active, there is a high chance that patients will hold on to the false hope they offer and refuse medical help that could be helpful, which can be fatal.

Cell Phones, Deodorants, And Fake Sweeteners Can All Cause Cancer? 

Some things do, in fact, make cancer more likely. Some of the best-known examples are smoking and lung cancer, with smoking directly linked to about 90% of all lung cancers. People with no clear risk factors for cancer often get it, though, which makes it seem random and leaves people trying to figure out why it happens.

When there isn’t a clear bad guy, suspicion can fall on a lot of different common home chemicals. For example, deodorants are often a cause for worry because they are close to skin that is sensitive. During the 1990s, the idea that antiperspirants might cause breast cancer grew in popularity. Even though these rumors are scary, many studies have shown that this assumed link is not real at all.

Artificial sweets have also been the subject of false claims for a long time. An email scam that has become famous said they were neurotoxic poisons when they weren’t. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even debunked the story. Even after more than a decade, these kinds of rumors are still going around. In 2015, activists put so much pressure on Pepsi that the company took aspartame out of its products, but in 2016 they quietly changed their minds. It was only a matter of time before someone said there was a link to cancer. Several research on sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and neotame, on the other hand, do not show such a link.

It’s common to blame power lines, microwaves, and cell phones for accidents. I’ve talked about this in more detail before, but the main reason people are worried about a possible link between electromagnetic radiation in the home and cancer is that they don’t understand the word “radiation” and think it means radioactivity. Light with lower energy doesn’t damage DNA like high-energy electromagnetic radiation does, which is why X-ray therapy for cancer uses this property. Years of tests and observations have shown that the microwave energy that most home appliances use can’t damage cells or ionize DNA.