B2007: Myths About Cancer #1

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Surgery Or Biopsy Causes the Cancer To Spread Further

This is one of the most common myths about cancer a doctor has to face. Surgery to remove tumours does not cause the cancer to spread. More often than not, cancers have already metastasised to other parts of the body. Usually surgical procedures to remove masses also work to confirm whether the cancer has spread to the nearest lymph node as well. This is called an exploratory biopsy and is a common procedure especially in cancers involving the breast.

If cancer cells are found in the nearest lymph nodes then it’s assumed that the cancer has already spread and has nothing to do with the surgery that has confirmed the spread of the cancer to begin with.

There are biopsies called Fine Needle Aspiration (which is explained later) that takes a small sample of the tissue in order check it under a microscope. These have been proven to have absolutely no effect on spreading cancer cells throughout the body. The doctors and pathologists conducting the biopsy are trained in this and there really isn’t much to fear about.

These tests and surgery are actually good for you and help confirm and treat cancer. Avoiding them because of something you heard from somewhere is just a big mistake that has a big price to pay.

This year Footsteps in the Mirror will be blogging to raise money for the Association for International Cancer Research which is a non-profit organisation that helps fund cancer research throughout the world. If you’re willing to help, you can sign up on the Blogathon website and pledge your amount right here. Help make a difference, no matter how small it may be.

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