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Busted! Most Common Myths And Misconceptions About Cancer

The Kashmir Monitor

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Cancer is primarily caused by harmful changes (mutations) in genes. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are caused by harmful mutations that are inherited from a person’s parents. In families with an inherited cancer-causing mutation, multiple family members will often develop the same type of cancer. These cancers are called familial or hereditary cancers. The remaining 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by mutations that happen during a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. These cancers are called “non-hereditary” or “spontaneous” cancers. Hence, in a majority of cases, the probability of getting cancer becomes higher if one leads an unhealthy lifestyle.

First of all, we need to understand that cancer isn’t a death sentence. Five-year survival rate for all cancers currently is about 66 percent. In fact, for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, the five-year survival rates now exceed 90 percent. How long an individual cancer patient will live and whether he or she will die from the disease depends on many factors, including whether the cancer is slow or fast growing, how much the cancer has spread in the body, whether effective treatments are available, the person’s overall health, and more. However, these rates, gathered from large numbers of people, suggest a healthy improvement in outcomes.

As per the American Society of Clinical Oncology, factors like cancer screening, vaccination, tobacco control, healthy eating, avoiding alcohol consumption and physical activity are important factors that can reduce the effects of cancer, improve outcomes across communities and even prevent cancer. At the same time, there are some deep rooted ideas – though scientifically wrong – which have resulted in some popular misconceptions about how cancer starts and spreads.

 

Here’s a look at some of the common and myths misconceptions around cancer:

1. Eating sugar can make cancer worse, or artificial sweeteners can cause cancer

This is false. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. Also, researchers have conducted studies on the safety of artificial sweeteners and found no evidence that these can cause cancer in humans. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity, which is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer.

2. Antiperspirants or deodorants can cause breast cancer

No, the best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue.

3. Hair dye usage can increase the risk of cancer

There is no convincing scientific evidence that hair dye usage increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer.

4. Cell phones and powerlines can cause cancer

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage genes. Power lines emit both electric and magnetic energy. The electric energy emitted by power lines is easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emitted by power lines is a low-frequency form of radiation that does not damage genes.

5. Herbal products can cure cancer

Some studies suggest that alternative or complementary therapies, including some herbs, may help patients cope with the side effects of cancer treatment, however no herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work. Cancer patients should talk to their doctor about any complementary and alternative medicine products-including vitamins and herbal supplements-they may be using.

6. Cancer is contagious

The only situation in which cancer can spread from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation. A person who receives an organ or tissue from a donor who had cancer in the past may be at increased risk of developing a transplant-related cancer in the future. However, that risk is extremely low-about two cases of cancer per 10,000 organ transplants. As a practice, doctors avoid the use of organs or tissue from donors who have a history of cancer.

In some people, cancers may be caused by certain viruses (some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, for example) and bacteria (such as Helicobacter pylori). While a virus or bacterium can spread from person to person, the cancers they sometimes cause cannot spread from person to person.

7. Cancer surgery or tumour biopsy can cause cancer to spread in the body

The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. For example, if they must remove tissue from more than one area of the body, they use different surgical tools for each area.

Misconceptions and myths about cancer can not only lead to needless worry, but also hinder good prevention and treatment decisions. Hence, it is important that if someone is detected with cancer, they should consult a specialist and transparently discuss their doubts.

(Dr Pramod Kumar Julka, Senior Director – Oncology Daycare Centre, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket)

Courtesy: NDTV


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Health

6 Protein-Rich Foods You Should Eat After A Workout

The Kashmir Monitor

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What you eat before and after a workout can affect your health, weight loss goals and how you respond to exercise. The right kind of nutrition is important for regular progress and achieve your desired goals on time. However, it is a common tendency to put more attention to what you eat before your workout than what you eat after a workout. In this article, we talk about the right kind of proteins which you must eat after a workout.

Why is it important to eat right after a workout?

On exercising, muscles use glycogen stories for fuel. This makes muscles being slightly deprived of glycogen. Healthline mentions that some proteins in muscles also get broken down. The body tries to rebuild its oxygen stores and eating the right nutrients can help you do this faster. For good recovery, the right kind of nutrition can improve your recovery as well.

 

Proteins to eat after a workout

Exercising results in breakdown of muscle protein. The rate at which this happens depends on the intensity of your exercise. Consuming proteins after a workout can give your body amino acids for repairing rebuilding the lost proteins.

1. Eggs:

Whole eggs can be a good post-workout snack. Packed with protein, eggs while provide you with the right kind of nutrition and will improve your muscle building. People trying to lose weight can also eat eggs after working out.

2. Sweet potato:

While rich in carbs, sweet potato also contains protein. Consuming carb-rich food can refuel you after a session of intense workout.

3. Cottage cheese:

For times you feel too tired to prepare an entire post-workout meal, you can simply slice some cottage cheese into cubes, sprinkle some salt and black pepper on it and eat it raw. Cottage cheese contains good amount of protein that can help you recover after your workout.

4. Quinoa:

Fibre and protein content in quinoa make it an ideal post-workout meal. What’s more is that quinoa is gluten-free and can help people on a weight loss diet as well.

5. Chicken:

Chicken is lean protein that can help you feel energised after a workout. Protein from chicken can help you build muscle mass.

6. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna:

Along with being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fatty fish like salmon and tuna are also rich sources of protein. Omega 3 fatty acids in fatty fish are good for heart health. Fatty fish is low in carbs and can thus be included in weight loss diet as well.

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Health

Want To Get Rid Of Bloating, Stomach Cramps Once And For All? Cut Down These Foods From Your Diet

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Cutting out specific foods can alleviate gastrointestinal issues for physically active people, especially a runner, researchers say.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Anglia Ruskin University in Britain, showed that a low fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide and polyol (or FODMAP) diet reduces some of the issues caused by exercise such as stomach cramps and bloating, and improves a person’s perceived ability to exercise.

FODMAP foods include those containing lactose (milk, yoghurt and cheese), fructans (found in cereals, breads and pasta), galactic-oligosaccharides (legumes and onions), excess fructose (for example in apples, pears and asparagus) and polyols (often added as a food additive).

 

“We found a clear benefit when following the low FODMAP diet, with a reduction in exercise-related gastrointestinal symptoms amongst otherwise healthy, recreational runners,” said Justin Roberts, Principal Lecturer at the varsity.

For the study, the researchers involved a group of healthy recreational exercisers. Everyone in the group followed two eating plans for one week at a time, with the key difference being the FODMAP content.

The findings, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that 69 per cent of those following a low FODMAP diet experienced an improvement in symptoms and were able to exercise more frequently and at a higher intensity.

In addition, the improvement in perceived pain, in conjunction with reduced experiences of bloating whilst on a low FODMAP diet, is likely explained by a reduction in intestinal water volume and gas production, caused by fewer indigestible carbohydrates available for fermentation in the gut.

However, further studies are needed to examine the benefits of this diet when combined with long-term training strategies. It is important that people take care if deciding to follow a low FODMAP diet, as reductions in total caloric and carbohydrate intake may impact on nutritional quality, Roberts suggested.

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Health

How black coffee can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

The Kashmir Monitor

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The rate at which type 2 diabetes is increasing around the world is really high. It is important to understand what measures can prevent the disease and also which of them can increase your risk of developing it.

Coffee is a very common beverage all around the world, especially in countries that have very cold climatic conditions, timesnownews.com reported.

When the beverage is a staple in so many households, it is important to understand its effect on diabetes — risk and treatment.

 

Does diabetes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Does it help in reversing it? Read on to answer all your questions.

A cup of black coffee every day can reduce your risk of developing diabetes

According to a study published by the American Diabetes Association, people who drink coffee have a lower level of blood sugar.

Another study found that the risk of developing diabetes decreased by nine percent in people who drank one cup of coffee every day. One more study that specifically studied women of postmenopausal women found that women who drank six cups of coffee every day had a 22 percent lower risk of diabetes. There happen to be various studies that second this notion, therefore it may be safe to believe that coffee can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How to drink coffee to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes?

Here is how you should drink your coffee to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes-

? Regular coffee is better to reduce risk than decaffeinated coffee.

? Prefer to not use sweeteners like sugar.

? Avoid drinking coffee with any dairy products like milk or cream.

? Remember coffee has benefits for diabetes only when consumed in its purest form.

? Artificially sweetened coffee may lead to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes.

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