Month: September 2016

Common Cancer Myths and Misconceptions

First and foremost, it is not a myth or misconception that cancer is a devastating disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. There are common ideas about how cancer starts and spreads, however, that are often rooted in old theories and scientifically wrong. According to The National Cancer Institute (NCI):

“…wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions.”

Factors That Contribute to Cancer’s Death Toll

Just looking at the numbers, cancer kills hundreds of thousands of people in the United States every year. This is devastating, and paints a bleak picture, but it’s not the complete picture. The likelihood of a person dying from cancer has, in fact, steadily decreased since the 1990s. Plus, the five-year survival rates for cancers such as breast, thyroid, and prostate, are now over 90 percent. The five-year survival rates for ALL cancers is now around 66 percent.

These numbers are based on data from large groups of people, as a result, the percentages may not apply to each person. A particular patient’s prognosis depends on a variety of factors, including:

Their overall health;

Whether the cancer is fast or slow-growing; and

How much the cancer has spread.

Does Sugar Feed Cancer?

Cancer cells do consume more glucose than normal cells, according to research, however, no studies have concluded that eating sugar would make the cancer worse, OR that cutting out sugar will shrink cancer. While sugar may not have a direct effect on cancer cells, a high sugar diet is bad for overall health, which may increase your risk for developing cancer.

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Cancer

At one point, artificial sweetener Sweet ‘n’ Low included a cancer warning about it causing cancer in laboratory animals because early studies showed that cyclamate in combination with saccharin caused bladder cancer. The warning has since been removed, however. Later studies have NOT provided clear evidence of a correlation between using artificial sweeteners and developing cancer (though it’s probably best to stay away from artificial anything in the interest of good health). The following artificial sweeteners are approved by the FDA and considered safe for human consumption.

Is Cancer Contagious?

It may seem a silly question, but this is a common misconception of cancer. Cancer is not a contagious disease. The only way where cancer might spread from one person to another is a tissue or organ transplant from someone who had cancer in the past. But even if that situation, the risk is extremely low and doctors avoid the use of tissue or organs from donors who have a history of cancer.

The Power of Positivity

While the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says there is no convincing scientific evidence to support the theory that a positive attitude promotes good health, helps prevent cancer, and even helps cancer patients more successfully fight the disease, we still believe staying positive (but realistic) is the best attitude to have. Just because there is no physical evidence doesn’t mean a person won’t benefit from having a positive outlook.

Herbs to Fight Cancer

There are studies that suggest complementary or alternative therapies may help patients deal with cancer treatment side effects, but there is no conclusive evidence that herbal products are an effective cancer treatment. Some may even be harmful if taken during conventional cancer treatment. Alternative options should always be discussed with one’s doctor.

Cancer Runs in the Family

Not always. Even if a family member had or has cancer, it does not necessarily meant that you will get it too. Only about five to ten percent of cancers are caused by inherited harmful gene mutations. In families WITH an inherited gene, however, multiple family members may develop the same type of cancer, should they develop cancer at all.

Be Well Informed

There is no need to go through life in fear of cancer. Leading a healthy lifestyle is your most effective method of cancer prevention and being well-informed about your family health history is another. The more you know, the best you can safeguard your health.

With reveal23’s genetic testing kit, you can raise your own awareness about any potential inherited cancer-predisposing mutations. To learn more about us or to order your kit, visit our website at

Do You Have These Cancer-Fighting Foods In Your Kitchen?

While research continues, there is compelling evidence that a diet filled with certain foods can help lower a person’s risk for various cancers and even help fight the cancer itself. Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of whole foods is the way to go if you’re looking to optimize your health.  

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), you should fill at least 2/3 of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Other organizations have additional recommendations. For example, the American Cancer Society includes the following dietary guidelines for cancer prevention:

Eat whole grains instead of refined grain products (e.g., brown rice instead of white rice).
Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Limit your intake of red meat.
Limit alcohol to one drink per day (women at high risk for breast cancer should consider not drinking alcohol at all).
Avoid processed foods.

Taking It A Step Further

Following the general recommendations above is step one. The next step is including those specific foods that provide the highest cancer prevention benefits. This typically means they are high in antioxidants, substances that remove and neutralize free radicals that can damage cell membranes, affect DNA, and even destroy cells.

The following list of cancer-fighting foods from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is a good start:

cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale),
grape seed extract,
tomatoes, and
winter squash.

But That’s Not All

The list from AICR is not exhaustive. Research is continuously being conducting on the effects of certain foods, or compounds within those foods, on cancer. For example, City of Hope researchers have found some possible “superfoods” with cancer-fighting properties. These superfoods have the ability to block the hormones that support the spread of cancer, diminish existing tumors, and boost the body’s immune system. The five main superfoods identified by the researchers are pomegranates, mushrooms, blueberries, grape seed extract, and cinnamon.

The Bottom Line

The foods you eat may fight cancer both directly and indirectly. Many minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals possess direct anti-cancer properties, actually impacting cancer cells themselves. However, evidence suggests that it is substances working together in a person’s diet that offers the strongest cancer protection. At the end of the day, a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will put you on the path to good health.

A to Z List of Cancer Types

Cancer, also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms vary depending on the type.Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

Review the list and learn more about the different types of cancers.  READ MORE

Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Symposium

Viazoi will be speaking at the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Symposium on September 17th, 2016.  The First Cancer Awareness Symposium will be held at the Kouyoumjian Hall, St. Gregory Armenian Catholic Church in Glendale CA.

For further information please visit their site at

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