Cancer Myths and Facts: Do You Know the Difference?

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    Question 1/8

    If you get cancer, it's usually because someone in your family had cancer.

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    Answer 1/8

    If you get cancer, it's usually because someone in your family had cancer.

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    About half of men and a third of women in the U.S. will get the disease at some point. But only about 5%-10% of cases are linked to genes from parents.

    The bottom line: Doctors aren't sure why some people get sick and others don't. Though your family history does play a role, it's not just about that.

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    Question 2/8

    Which food is linked to colon cancer?

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    Answer 2/8

    Which food is linked to colon cancer?

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    People who eat a lot of processed meats, such as hot dogs and lunchmeat, are more likely to get colon cancer. The link isn't completely clear, but it might be because of nitrites. Those are chemicals added to food to stop bacteria and preserve color.

    Red meat also is linked to colon cancer. In general, try to limit how much you eat. Instead, choose other kinds of protein, such as chicken, fish, or beans.

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    Question 3/8

    Heavy drinking can raise your chances of getting cancer.

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    Answer 3/8

    Heavy drinking can raise your chances of getting cancer.

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    Alcohol may make you more likely to get mouth, liver, colon, breast, and other cancers. It doesn't matter if you order beer, wine, or liquor when you belly up to the bar. It's how much you have that counts. The more you drink, the higher your risk.

    If booze is already part of your life, stick to no more than two drinks a day if you're a man and one if you're a woman.

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    Question 4/8

    Artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.

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    Answer 4/8

    Artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    We don't have any evidence that the stuff in those little pink, blue, yellow, or green packets cause the disease. Studies so far don't show a link between aspartame (blue), saccharin (pink), or sucralose (yellow) and cancer in people.

    Newer sugar substitutes, such as sorbitol, agave, and stevia (green), also appear to be safe.

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    Question 5/8

    Antiperspirants make you more likely to get breast cancer.

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    Answer 5/8

    Antiperspirants make you more likely to get breast cancer.

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    Go ahead and use an antiperspirant or deodorant. There aren't any strong studies that suggest you have a greater chance of getting breast cancer when you try to tame your sweat or smell with these products.

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    Question 6/8

    Which of these may help ease nausea in people getting cancer treatment?

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    Answer 6/8

    Which of these may help ease nausea in people getting cancer treatment?

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    It can help when you're sick to your stomach during chemotherapy. It may also be useful if you have a dry mouth after radiation therapy.

    Since it's considered a complementary treatment, let your cancer doctor know if you'd like to try or are doing it.

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    Question 7/8

    For most cancers, a biopsy will cause cancer cells to spread.

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    Answer 7/8

    For most cancers, a biopsy will cause cancer cells to spread.

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    During a biopsy, a doctor takes a small sample of cells from your body to check it for cancer. With most types of the disease, it's very unlikely that this procedure will cause cancer to spread.

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    Question 8/8

    What can you do to lower your chance of getting cancer?

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    Answer 8/8

    What can you do to lower your chance of getting cancer?

    • You answered:
    • The Correct Answer:

    Along with healthy eating and managing your weight, it can make you less likely to get certain cancers, including breast and colon cancers.

    Still, even if you're active, get any routine cancer tests that your doctor recommends.

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