It is entirely understandable that many people are highly wary of cancer, as the disease has affected so many people in truly grave ways. However, this level of concern has risen to panic in some quarters, which has resulted in some seriously flawed logic and information entering the public domain.
Whether it’s about how cancer is caused or how it can be cured, there are hundreds of incorrect rumors out there, and we debunk four of the most prominent below.
Sugar is giving people cancer
This is not the case, however it is simple to see how this misconception originated and spread. It is true that cancerous cells feed on glucose from the blood, however consuming sugar as part of your diet does not make them absorb more glucose or grow any quicker.
Furthermore, sugar is not a carcinogen, which means it cannot cause cancer. When consumed in excess, it can contribute to obesity, which does give an individual an increased risk of developing illnesses like cancer, however as part of a balanced diet eating sugar does not make you more susceptible to the disease.
Carrageenan causes cancer
If you’ve heard of this food additive, it’s probably for all the wrong reasons. One of the ingredients most prominently condemned in the media is carrageenan, a seaweed extract that is used to preserve, thicken and stabilize a whole range of foods around the world. Many claim that carrageenan can cause cancer, however their beliefs are backed up by heavily flawed studies, and there is an overwhelming body of scientific research confirming that it is safe.
Part of this confusion is that a different seaweed product, poligeenan, is potentially cancer-causing. However, poligeenan is never found in food and drink. Carrageenan on the other hand is perfectly safe to eat.
Cancer can be treated with bicarbonate of soda
This is the first of two cure myths we debunk in this article, and the logic behind both is rather baffling. Some followers of alternative medicine believe that cancerous tumors can be cured using bicarbonate of soda, on the basis that cancer is actually a fungus – an assumption entirely based on the color of the tumorss.
However, this simply isn’t the case, and even if it was, bicarbonate of soda does not even treat fungal infections anyway. Injecting large quantities of the stuff can also cause health problems, so be sure to steer clear of this “remedy”.
Shark cartilage is a cancer remedy
Another strange misconception about cancer cures is that the cartilage of sharks can be used to remedy the disease. This comes from the belief that the savage sea creatures are actually immune to cancer, however this is not true at all – cancer has been found in sharks in the past.
A sad side to this myth is that thousands of sharks are killed around the world in order to produce pills made from their cartilage, which is sold as a treatment. Therefore, be sure to correct anybody thinking of trying such products.