5 Modern Cancer Myths – Debunked!

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A woman pondering about the truth behind cancer myths

Cancer is such a common yet misunderstood disease. The question of curing cancer has been on the minds of doctors and scientists alike for decades. With it comes many cancer misconceptions. Here, we debunked 5 modern cancer myths for you.

Cancer myth stated that cancer is a modern disease by this 3,000 BC papyrus suggests otherwiseImage credit: U.S. National Library of Medicine

Debunked! In recorded history, cancer was first described in the Edwin Smith Papyrus (3,000 BC) from Egypt. The document described the diagnosis of cancer as well as treatment method by cauterisation; a medical technique of burning an injured part of the body in order to close off wounds or destroy undesired growth. Cancer was also described as a growth that is malignant, venous and crab-like by the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC). Unlike what cancer myths suggested, archaeologists even found cancerous growth in the bones of a 240 million-year-old dinosaur fossil that they dug up in Germany. Talk about ancient!

Myth #2: Acidic food like meat, dairy and grains cause cancer

A pregnant woman shopping for healthy food selection at the grocery store

Debunked! Blood is naturally slightly alkaline (pH 7.35-7.45). This acidity is maintained by the kidneys and nothing you eat can change the pH level of the blood. In fact, a change in blood pH level is a medical emergency called acidosis which causes confusion, drowsiness and shortness of breath.

#TiqOurWord Fruits and vegetables like lemons, grapes, mushrooms, blueberries and pomegranates are acidic, too. But they contain high antioxidants to fend off cancer and are generally good for health.

Myth #3: Chemotherapy is painful and detrimental to the body

Male cancer patient attended by a female doctor and female nurse after a chemotherapy session.

Debunked! First of all, we need to be honest with you: No medical treatment, surgery or medication are easy or comfortable. But over the past decade, the survival rate of cancer patients who seek treatment in Singapore has gone up from 13% to 48% for men, and from 28% to 57% for women. Furthermore, the side effects of chemotherapy can be managed through medication and palliative care. Ease your worries on medical expenses and focus on recovery with Tiq Cancer Insurance. Get full payout for all cancer stages, even early stage.

Myth #4: Smartphones give off radiation that can cause cancer

The idea of smartphones giving off radiation and causing cancer is a modern cancer myth.

Debunked! Radiation does cause damages to our DNA, which might lead to cancerous growth in the body. However, our electronic gadgets give off around 450 to 3,800 megahertz of radiation. This is too minute to cause cancer. But prolonged exposure from X-rays (30 petahertz to 30 exahertz) and gamma rays (more than 1019 hertz), such as those from nuclear power plants, CT scans, and radon from farmhouses, can indeed cause cancer due to their high amount of radiation but not as the cancer myths suggested.

Myth #5: There is no cure for cancer

Female cancer patient happily video calling during a chemotherapy session.

TRUE! There is no specific cure for cancer. But cancer can be treated. We repeat – cancer can be treated! Cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells due to the malfunctioning of DNA. That does not equate a death sentence. In theory, if we remove those malfunctioning cells, the body will revert back to normal. This can be done through surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and many other methods. That is why early stage detection can save almost 100% of all patients.

Can you handle the truth?

Doctors and nurse analyzing an x-ray

People of all ages, from all walks of life, are at risk of cancer. But some more than others. National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) estimated that 1 in every 5 Singaporeans will develop cancer in their lifetime. While treatment is available and early detection is proven to save life, the price of cancer treatment is not cheap. It can reach up to S$17,000 per month and last up to 6 months. So get yourself covered for up to S$200,000 with Tiq Cancer Insurance now. Let’s prevent, treat and get rid of cancer till the notion of it being incurable become one of cancer myths.


Information is accurate as at 7 February 2020. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. As this product has no savings or investment feature, there is no cash value if the policy ends of if the policy is terminated prematurely. It is usually detrimental to replace an existing policy with a new one. A penalty may be imposed for early termination and the new plan may cost more or have less benefit at the same cost. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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With a shared vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa created the strong foundation for Tiq. Because life never stops changing, Etiqa never stops progressing. A licensed life and general insurance company registered in the Republic of Singapore and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Etiqa is governed by the Insurance Act and has been providing insurance solutions since 1961. It is 69% owned by Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest banking group, with more than 22 million customers in 20 countries; and 31% owned by Ageas, an international insurance group with 33 million customers across 16 countries.

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