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Commonly Held Myths of Head and Neck Cancers

Regardless of where they originate, what they are made of and how quickly they multiply, head and neck cancers can affect anyone at any age. However, there are many myths about the development of these cancers. Due to these misconceptions, many people fail to diagnose cancer at an early stage.

For early detection and successful treatment of head and neck cancers, you need to know the facts, NOT the myths. Given below are some common myths of head and neck cancer treatment. You need to know about these myths so that you are not misinformed.

Myth 1: Brain tumours can occur due to radiation caused by microwaves and cell phones

According to Dr. McDermott, this statement is a myth. Various studies prove that radiofrequency radiation (RFR) coming out of these devices would first impact the skin rather than the brain. Moreover, the skull contains calcium that further protects the brain from these radiofrequency radiations.

Myth 2: Head and neck cancers are deadly

Both head and neck cancers are benign and malignant. They can be deadly but the advanced and effective head and neck cancer treatment by RGCIRC can easily prevent most head and neck tumours while prolonging a patient’s life.

However, benign tumours in the brain are more dangerous than benign tumours present in other body parts. This is because brain tumours are likely to squeeze one’s brain while affecting its normal function. Therefore, it’s necessary to treat them at the earliest.

The treatments to remove tumours from the brain and neck include radiation therapy for shrinking tumour tissue using targeted radiation doses, immunotherapy drugs and chemotherapy drugs for killing cancer cells.

Myth 3: Alcohol doesn’t impact individually the risk of forming HNSCC

The truth is that alcohol can have an independent impact on the growth of developing HNSCC (Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma). When alcohol is consumed by a person at a higher frequency than normal, it is associated with a two-fold increase in the chances of developing both head and neck cancers in drinkers compared to the ones who don’t drink alcohol.

There are various ways alcohol can lead to the formation of HNSCC. People who have 10 or more cigarettes daily and intake 84g/day of alcohol are at higher risk of being affected by HNSCC than non-smokers and non-drinkers.

Myth 4: The cases of HPV-positive cancers are the same between females and males

The fact is that men are at higher risk of developing HPV-positive OPSCC than females. The misinformation is thought to be associated with the sexual behaviour differences between the two sexes.

Men are likely to have multiple vaginal and oral sexual partners. Therefore, they can have a high risk of OPSCC. The difference in the cases of HPV-positive OPSCC men vs. women may also be due to lack of HPV vaccination recommendations for males. While the vaccine was provided for girls in 2006, boys were not approved of getting the same vaccine until 2009.

Myth 5: There is no risk of HNSCC development with smokeless tobacco

The fact is that smokeless tobacco has a higher risk of developing HNSCC like smoked tobacco. The risk of HNSCC linked to smokeless tobacco varies as per the regional use of smokeless or chewable tobacco. In India, around 50% of men and women develop oral cancers due to the use of smokeless tobacco.

According to a study conducted in India, there has been a rise in the number of hypopharyngeal cancers in non-smokers but not with laryngeal cancers. Even in the US and Sudan, approximately 4% and 68% of men suffer from oral cancers due to the use of smokeless tobacco, respectively.

Myth 6: Reduced smoking rate does not affect the cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)

The truth is that there is a huge decrease in neck and head cancers in the United States between 1974 and 1999. This change is the result of decreased smoking. However, there has been no notable difference in the cases of nasopharyngeal cancers. On the other hand, there is a significant increase in the cases of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). The increase in OPSCC is due to the human papilloma virus (HPV).

So, these are some commonly held misconceptions regarding the development of head and neck cancers. We hope that you’ll now be aware of the facts about these two types of cancers. With the right information, you’re likely to prevent yourself from these dangerous diseases or detect them at an early stage for successful treatment.

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