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World Cancer Day 2014

Debunking cancer myths

Tuesday, February 04, 2014 | 1:15 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- World Cancer Day is being celebrated today, February 4, to help raise awareness about the disease.

The campaign for this year's celebration is focused on reducing stigma and dispelling the myths about cancer, with the slogan "Debunk the myths".

Here are five myths about cancer... debunked.

Myth 1) Nothing can be done about cancer. It is a death sentence.

Fact: With early diagnosis and right treatment strategies, one-third of common cancers can be prevented and treated.

Myth 2) You have no control over your risks of getting cancer.

Fact:  There is nothing that can completely prevent cancer, but with awareness, lifestyle and dietary changes, the risk of cancer can be reduced greatly.

Myth 3) Frequent use of deodorants, antiperspirants and hair colours or dyes can cause cancer.

Fact: There is scientific proof that these things can cause cancer or even increase cancer risk.

Myth 4) With daily use of sunscreen, you can prevent skin cancers.

Fact: Using sunscreens everyday is good habit because it protects you from the sun’s UV radiation. It may reduce cancer risk but we cannot yet rely on sunscreen to eliminate the risk of cancer completely.

Myth 5)  Smoking a couple of cigarettes in a day will not cause cancer.

Fact: Smoking is still the greatest contributor of cancer cases worldwide. Researchers believe that the relation between cancer risk and smoking is linear. Even if you cut down on smoking from 20 cigarettes to just say 2 cigarettes per day, your risk of dying due to other smoking-related diseases (cancer, heart diseases, lung dysfunction) is reduced by just 5 per cent.

Related story:

World Cancer Day 2014- Top 10 cancer myths busted

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