1. What causes cancer?
Though it is very difficult to pinpoint the definite cause, certain substances, known as carcinogens, can definitely increase your chances of getting cancer. For instance, people who smoke or chew tobacco are more prone to mouth, throat and lung cancer. Contrary to popular opinion, beedi smoking is twice as dangerous as cigarettes.
Continued irritation of tissues can lead to cancer. Pollution, preserved food, smoked and junk food are also contributory. Even certain viruses can cause cancer (EBV, Hepatitis B, HPV). Amongst other known causes are asbestos, arsenic, pitch, tar, ultra-violet rays.
2. Is cancer caused by a germ?
There is no scientific evidence that cancer is directly caused by a germ. Although certain viruses are known to cause cancer by they form 2% of the cancer burden.
3. Does cancer come from a single bruise?
No. A single injury to soft tissue or bone does not give rise to cancer.
4. What is the relation of food to cancer?
High fat, low roughage western diet predisposes to colon cancer. Diet rich in animal fats also contributes to breast cancer. Green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits contain certain antioxidants which prevent cancer. Recently tomato, ginger and cabbage, etc., have been found to have medicinal antioxidant property. Avoid junk food, smoked food and preserved food. Be vegetarian and prevent cancer!
5. Will irregularity in eating cause cancer of the stomach?
There is no scientific evidence that it will, since cancer of the stomach may occur in people who eat most regularly.
6. Does eating hot food cause cancer?
There is little evidence that the temperature of food is an important factor in development of cancer. But recently too hot food has been correlated with food pipe cancer. Too spicy food may be related to stomach cancer as is evident from its high incidence in Southern parts of India.
7. Does the use of alcohol bear any relation to cancer?
Alcohol is a predisposing factor for the development of cancer of oesophagus, laryngopharynx and liver.
8. Is cancer hereditary?
There are probably inherited tendencies that may lead to cancers of different types. The presence of cancer in one or both parents should be a cause for greater alertness in looking for and recognizing suspicious symptoms in the individual. Cancer, however, is not inherited except for one type of eye cancer known as Retinoblastoma. Only 5% of breast cancers are considered hereditary.
9. Can cancer be transmitted by kissing or casual contact between people or between persons and animals?
No. There is no record of cancer having been transmitted by kissing or by any contact, accidental or otherwise, between individuals or between person and animals.
10. Do corns become cancerous?
Cancer may occur in any tissue of the body, but a corn does not, as a rule, develop into cancer.
11. Do freckles turn into cancer?
Simple freckles do not. However, flat moles containing form pigment of a bluish-black colour and looking like dark freckles, may become cancerous and should be checked periodically.
12. Do piles turn into cancer?
No. Piles or hemorrhoids are merely enlarged veins in the rectal wall. Cancer is occasionally found in the tissue above the hemorrhoids. So "bleeding piles" should be examined carefully to determine whether cancer is also present. Rectal bleeding can occur due to cancer.
13. Can one’s mental condition influence the course of cancer?
Cancer is a disease of body cells. One’s mental condition has no direct effect on the course of the disease since this malignant change is apparently due to physical process. But positive attitude, fighting spirit and healthy thinking helps you to cope with cancer better. So, it has an indirect bearing on response to cancer treatment.
14. Does radiation cause cancer? Do Cellphones cause cancer?
Indiscriminate use of X-rays frequently may increase your chances of getting cancer. Lately, there are certain reports quoting higher incidence of Leukemia and Brain Tumours in persons using Cellphone. But this needs further research.
Published and issued by STATE CANCER
SOCIETY OF MEGHALAYA, for public interest.