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Top 10 Cancer Myths Debunked

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health, assures all cancer patients that they are there for them and their loved ones.


National Cancer Survivors Day is a cherished yearly celebration of life after cancer. One in four South Africans has cancer. Since the mid-1970s, survival rates have increased for all the most common cancers.

What are the Most Invasive Cancers?

As of 2019, the five most common invasive cancers in South Africa for men are:

Learn How to Detect Bowel Cancer Early

For women, the most common cancers are:

Learn How to Do a Breast Self-Examination

Did you know that Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) include the following cancers?

  • Basal Cell Cancer (BCC)
  • Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC)


Well, these cancers are not considered invasive.


Murray Hewlett, Affinity Health CEO, says that well-meaning friends and family members often spread many myths about cancer. It is a terrible disease. These myths add to the stress that patients are already facing.

What are the Top 10 Myths About Cancer?

If you have cancer, you need to cut out all sugar from your diet.

Research states that cancer cells need more sugar (glucose) than normal cells. No studies show that eating sugar worsens your cancer. Nor that quitting sugar will cause your cancer to shrink or disappear.

Having cancer does not prevent you from enjoying your favourite treats. But a high-sugar diet may contribute to weight gain. Obesity may cause an increased risk of getting many types of cancer.

If you don’t have a positive attitude, you won’t recover from cancer.

There is no clear scientific evidence linking a person’s “attitude” to cancer. It is usual for someone with cancer to have swinging moods. Moods may swing between:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Positivity
  • Optimism

Happier individuals are likelier to keep social relationships and remain active. Physical activity and emotional support may assist you in coping with cancer.

If you have cancer, you should stop using your cell phone.

Studies state that genetic mutations are the direct cause of cancer. But the low-frequency energy emitted by cell phones does not damage genes.

Having a biopsy will spread your cancer to other organs.

There is no proof that a biopsy or cancer removal can cause it to spread. A tumour requires removal or examination. A biopsy will not cause the malignancy to spread. But removal or testing is a crucial aspect of the therapy process.

Cancer only affects Caucasians.

People with fair skin may be more prone to skin cancer than those with darker skin. But all ethnicities are at a risk of cancer.

Cancer patients should not opt for chemotherapy as it has adverse consequences.

When chemotherapy first arrived, patients, experienced terrible side effects. But, in recent decades, medical advancements have helped reduce side effects. For many cancer patients, chemo can do the following:

A lump in the breast always indicates breast cancer.

Only a small proportion of breast lumps are cancerous. But never disregard a lump in your breast or any changes in your breast tissue.

If you’re pregnant, you can’t undergo cancer treatments.

Pregnant women with cancer concerns should see their doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment may improve both mother and child results. Pregnant women who receive a cancer diagnosis may still have options accessible.

Following cancer treatments, your hair will never grow again.

Chemotherapy patients tend to lose their hair during treatment. But hair loss is rarely permanent. 99% of the time, it grows back when the chemotherapy is over.

Cancer will recur.

In general, chances of recurrence are lower in stages I and II of cancer. There is still hope that it will not return.

See Why it is Important to Detect Cervical Cancer Early

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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