Myths About Cancer

Cancer continues to evoke fear in many people, and some are thanks to numerous myths that are circulating in the minds of the general public and on the internet.

Myth #1: Antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer

Fact: They are safe to use every day. The belief that aluminium and parabens are absorbed through the skin, causing cancer, is wrong and no link between breast cancer and deodorant usage has been found.

Myth #2: Mobile phones can cause brain cancer

Fact: There have not been any studies suggesting a link between cell phone use and brain cancer.

Myth #3: Cancer is always a painful disease, so if you feel fine, you don’t have cancer

Fact: Many types of cancer cause little or no pain. Regular screenings are recommended for cancers of the cervix, breast, and colon.

Myth #4: Using sunscreen will prevent skin cancer if you spend hours in the sun

Fact: Sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer, but by itself, it cannot guarantee that you will not get skin cancer. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied, and even then, it still only confers a certain amount of protection. Visible symptoms of skin cancer do not show up for many years. Sun damage remains in the deeper layers of skin. It is cumulative and can eventually cause cancer.

Myth #5: Eating too much red meat causes colorectal cancer

Fact: There has been no direct link between colorectal cancer and the high consumption of red meat. However high consumption of fat does lead to obesity which, along with physical inactivity has been known to increase the risk of cancer.

Picture of Dr Wong Seng Weng

Dr Wong Seng Weng

At The Cancer Centre (TCC), Dr Wong Seng Weng and his medical oncology team are focusing their expertise on implementing preventive measures, actively conducting screening and providing innovative, targeted treatments for adult cancers, as well as using proven technologies to ensure optimal patient safety and comfort.

Dr Wong, a visiting consultant medical oncologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Novena) and Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard), holds the appointment of Adjunct Clinician Scientist at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). He is also an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society of Medical Oncology and Singapore Society of Oncology.

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