Cancer is a condition where a few of the body’s cells grow out of control and spread to other body regions. In the millions of cells that make up the human body, cancer can develop practically anywhere. Human cells often divide (via a process known as cell growth and multiplication) to create new cells as the body requires them. New cells replace old ones when they die as a result of ageing or damage. Occasionally, this systematic process fails, causing damaged or abnormal cells to proliferate when they should not. Cancerous tumours can invade adjacent tissues, spread to distant parts of the body, and grow new tumours. (1)
1. Cancer Survivors are Increasing Worldwide
Any person who has received a cancer diagnosis is referred to as a cancer survivor. Accordingly, survivorship starts when a patient is diagnosed and includes the time during which they receive their initial curative treatment, survive without cancer, have a chronic or intermittent illness, and receive end-of-life care.
There are 32 million survivors worldwide. This figure is anticipated to rise as a result of advancements in cancer screening, rises in life expectancy after successful cancer treatment, and population ageing. (2)
2. If Someone in Your Family Has Cancer, It’s Not Necessarily to Have Cancer Too
Harmful gene changes (mutations) cause cancer. Only 5 to 10% of tumours are caused by harmful mutations that are passed down from one’s parents. Only in families where hereditary cancer-causing mutation exists, family members may have the same form of cancer frequently. These cancers are referred to as “hereditary” or “familial” cancers.
The other 90 to 95% of cancer cases are brought on by mutations that develop over the period of an individual’s lifetime as a result of ageing and exposure to environmental factors like radiation and tobacco smoking. Cancers like this are referred to as “non-hereditary” or “spontaneous” cancers. (3)
3. Many Factors May Prevent the Risk of Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that lifestyle risk factors like smoking, drinking alcohols, eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables, being overweight or obese, and not exercising account for 30–40% of the cancer burden.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Weight gain of 11 pounds or more during adulthood was substantially linked to a 16% increase in endometrial cancer risk and a 6% increase in postmenopausal breast cancer risk.(4)
- Be physically active. Any movement involving the skeletal muscles and requiring more energy than resting is considered physical exercise. Working, exercising, doing tasks around the house, and engaging in leisure activities like walking, jogging, running, yoga, hiking, bicycling, and swimming all count as physical activity. The most physically active people had a 24% lower risk of colon cancer than the least physically active people.(4)
- Avoid cigarette use and excessive sun exposure. It is vital to prevent smoking, other tobacco exposure, and too much sun exposure in order to lower your risk of developing cancer.(4)
- Limit Fast foods. Fast food is an easily accessible convenience food that is frequently consumed in large volumes and has a high calorie content. Studies looking at burgers, fried chicken, French fries, and high-calorie drinks account for the majority of the research about fast foods (containing sugar, such as soda; or unhealthy fats, such as shakes). There is strong evidence that eating a “Western type” diet, which is characterized by a high intake of added sugars, meat, and fat, as well as fast food and other processed foods high in unhealthy fats, starches, or sugars, are factors in weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are risk factors for many cancers.(4)
- Limit sugar-sweetened drinks. There is strong proof that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages regularly or in significant quantities can lead to weight gain, being overweight, and being obese in both children and adults. Obesity raises the risk of numerous cancers, as was already mentioned. (4)
4. Science Didn’t yet Confirm the Correlation Between Attitude and the Risk of Cancer
There isn’t any strong scientific proof to date connecting a person’s “attitude” to their chance of getting cancer or dying from it. It’s typical to experience mixed emotions while you have cancer, including happy and enthusiastic feelings at times and sad, angry, or frustrated at others. Positive attitudes may increase one’s likelihood of maintaining friendships and staying active, and both physical activity and emotional support may be beneficial in assisting one in coping with cancer. (5)
5. Cancer is not Always Painful
Some tumours never cause pain and not every cancer patient has cancer pain.
The type of cancer, its stage of progression, its site, as well as your pain threshold, all affect how much pain you experience Controlling your pain is a crucial component of your therapy since the majority of cancer pain is treatable.
Doctors are now more conscious of the need to reduce such pain and have found better techniques to manage it for patients who do endure cancer pain, particularly those with advanced cancer. The objective is to regulate the pain so that it has minimal influence on your everyday activities, even though not all discomfort may be completely removed. (6,7)
6. Its Not Yet proven that Surgery Causes Cancer to Spread
There is no proof that surgery can lead to the spread of cancer. This misconception can drive you to postpone off or refuse therapy. The first and most crucial course of treatment is usually surgical removal of the tumour. (8)