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Debunking common cancer myths

Cancer is becoming more and more common in Hong Kong. However, not a lot of people know much about this disease. Some even rely on therapies from untrusted sources, which in the end interfere with their original treatment schedule. Below are three common cancer myths debunked:

 

1. Eating a more nutritious diet will make cancer tumours grow faster?
Not at all! Ever since the moment cancer cells were developed in the body, they have been taking nutrients from normal cells. Therefore even if patients do not eat a healthy diet or do not eat much with the attempt of “starving the cancer cells”, they will still continue to grow. On the other hand, if patients do not consume enough nutrients, they can’t build a strong immune system to fight against the cancer cells.

 

2.It’s normal for cancer patients to lose a lot of weight. There is nothing to worry about.
No, we still have to keep an eye on our weight, it doesn’t mean patients should not care about planning their diet in order to strengthen their immune system. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can make patients feel nauseous and lose their appetite. At the same time, cancer cells take nutrients from healthy cells. All these will cause a drop in patients’ weight. Therefore, patients should focus on including more nutrients in their diet in order to build a stronger immune system.

 

3. Vegetarians are less likely to develop cancer?
Compared with ordinary people, the proportion of vegetarians developing cancer is indeed lower. It is because the food that vegetarians usually eat contain much less high saturated fat, and regular consumption of high saturated fat increases the risk for developing cancer. Even though this is the case, vegetarians should still need to be careful of what they eat and they should try to eat a more balanced diet. For example, they can obtain more protein by replacing meat with different soy products. And as always, the best way to prevent cancer is to eat a balanced diet, get enough rest, and also exercise regularly.

 

Information by: Registered Dietitian from Hong Kong Adventist Hospital - Tsuen Wan