myths – HTV https://htv.com.pk Wed, 25 Nov 2020 04:31:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Busting Bizarre Myths https://htv.com.pk/womens-health/breast-cancer-myths Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:51:01 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=40077

It’s that time of the year when we are bombarded with information about Breast Cancer left right and center. It’s the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are celebrating Pinktober in all it’s glory. While the internet maybe the hub for all relevant information related to the disease, there are a number of myths that […]

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It’s that time of the year when we are bombarded with information about Breast Cancer left right and center. It’s the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we are celebrating Pinktober in all it’s glory. While the internet maybe the hub for all relevant information related to the disease, there are a number of myths that need to be debunked. Here, we tackle a few common yet outrageous myths about breast cancer.

Myth: Deodorant causes breast cancer.

Fact: Thankfully, this is not true. There may have been some reports that chemicals found in deodorants and perfumes can cause changes in breast cells and lead to cancer, the research to date does not support a link between deodorant use and breast cancer risk.

Myth: Bras cause cancer!

Fact: This is the silliest one we have heard yet! Scientific evidence does not show a link between wearing any type of bra (with wire or not) and breast cancer risk. There is no biological link between the two whatsoever, so do yourself a favour and not believe such myths.

Myth: Injury or trauma to the breast can cause breast cancer.

Fact: While it’s true nobody likes to get hurt, the good news is there is no evidence to support a link between trauma or injury to the breast and the risk of cancer.

Myth: If it runs in your family, you “WILL” get it.

Fact: Studies suggest that most women with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the disease. In fact, only about 13 percent of women with breast cancer have a family member with breast cancer. Moreover, even if you don’t have a family history, be aware because you can still get breast cancer. In fact, most people diagnosed with cancer are at average risk and we can never be sure about which factors came together to cause the cancer.

Myth: Breast cancer always forms a lump.

Fact: Most people know that a lump in the breast may be a sign of breast cancer, but there are actually other signs you need to know to look out for, for example, any visible changes such as swelling, discoloration or itchiness.

Myth: Men cannot have get breast cancer.

Fact: For men, it’s their chest or their “pecs” rather than breasts but the fact is men have breast tissue as well. So, men are equally prone to the diseases.

Myth: Young women are not predisposed to the disease.

Fact: The truth of the matter is that all women are at risk of the disease. Although rare, young women do get breast cancer even in their 20s.

Myth: If a woman is pregnant she can’t get breast cancer.

Fact: Sadly, this is not the truth. Breast cancer is actually the most common type of cancer among pregnant and postpartum women. When women are pregnant or breastfeeding, their breasts are naturally more tender and enlarged which may make it harder to detect a lump or notice other changes.

Myth: If I eat right, don’t smoke, exercise and don’t drink alcohol, I will not get breast cancer.

Fact: A person can do everything “right” and still get cancer. Activities like eating right and exercising have may lower the chances but cannot completely eliminate them. This means there is no one behavior that will prevent breast cancer.

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Five Myths About Schizophrenia Debunked https://htv.com.pk/news/five-myths-about-schizophrenia-debunked Sun, 26 Jul 2015 06:00:16 +0000 http://htv.com.pk/?p=9140 Five Myths About Schizophrenia Debunked

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which affects the way a person thinks, acts, and sees the world. They may hear things that do not exist except in their own mind, they talk in strange and confusing ways, they believe people are trying to harm them or they are under constant surveillance.

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Five Myths About Schizophrenia Debunked

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder which affects the way a person thinks, acts, and sees the world. They may hear things that do not exist except in their own mind, they talk in strange and confusing ways, they believe people are trying to harm them or they are under constant surveillance.

It is one of the most misunderstood mental disorders, which begins in early adulthood between the ages of 15 and 25, men being more affected than women. According to Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, USA, more than one per cent of the world’s population is affected by Schizophrenia. As with any other disease, the earlier the intervention the better the medical outcome would be for the individual. Schizophrenics are encouraged to take their medication life-long in order to prevent a relapse.

Let us now look at some of the myths associated with Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenics are Psychopaths

The media, through movies or as part of sensational news items, have made us believe that people with schizophrenia are violent. A psychopath or a serial killer is given as an example of someone suffering from Schizophrenia.

This is totally false.

A study presented in a leading medical journal, Journal of American and Medical Association, JAMA, reveals that the notion about people with schizophrenia as being aggressive and violent is not true, especially if they are on medication for this disease. It is only those who are without treatment and are also engaged in simultaneous drug abuse, which are more violent than the general population.

It is paranormal

In our eastern culture, especially in rural areas, if a person starts hearing voices or commands, it is attributed as having been possessed by a “jinn”, an invisible supernatural creature. People believe that these jinns cause various mental and neurological diseases like schizophrenia, epilepsy etc. The belief of a person being possessed by a jinn or black magic prevents people from seeking medical help, resulting in worsening of the disease and aggravation of the symptoms.

Only through awareness and education can we debunk this myth.

Schizophrenia is entirely genetic

About 80% of the risk for Schizophrenia is genetic, meaning the closer the relation, the higher the chances of developing Schizophrenia. Recent research shows that apart from genes, environmental factors and stress also plays an important role. Environmental factors like nutritional deficiencies, substance abuse, peer group or family-related social stresses or being exposed to toxins like cigarette smoke or alcohol during pregnancy, also trigger schizophrenia in people. A healthy environment is therefore important for one’s physical and mental well-being.

Schizophrenics are shabbily dressed, smelly and incapable of working

Schizophrenics who are on medication are pretty functional. One prominent example is the late Dr John Nash, upon whom the movie A Beautiful Mind was also made. He was a Princeton graduate as well as a Nobel laureate and he taught at the university till be passed away.

Schizophrenics have the ability and the potential to study, find work and develop meaningful relationship with people. They might find it hard to make eye-contact with strangers in public but this paranoia can be taken as social-awkwardness, allowing them to live their life without being stigmatized.

Schizophrenics can’t get married

A year-long study, conducted by a psychiatrist in India, showed that 70% of schizophrenic patients have been married for five to 15 years. It also showed that marital rate of schizophrenic patients was only 10% to 15% less than that of the general population. The union fared better where the spouse and their family knew about the illness prior to marriage.

Divorce rate was higher where the other spouse was kept in the dark. Marriage plays the role of social support, however if a person’s illness is severely debilitating, they will not be able to fill those roles or fill them well. Most schizophrenics who are undergoing treatment generally do make good neighbors, employees and parents.

Schizophrenia is a disease which crosses all social classes, cultures and demographics. It varies greatly in its clinical manifestation. Most people with schizophrenia are able to function well, provided they are given proper medication, therapy and social support. We should support someone suffering from this disease by creating more awareness and educating ourselves.

If you see your loved one having any symptoms of schizophrenia, please do not hesitate to seek professional help from a psychiatrist. Though it is not curable as yet, it is definitely treatable and schizophrenic patients can live their lives to the fullest with help from family and friends.

Article source AFP

About the author: Dr. Nida Rahman Khan is a graduate of Dow Medical College and she is currently pursuing USMLEs to get residency for psychiatry in the US.

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Why Limitless and Lucy are Medically Unsound https://htv.com.pk/news/why-limitless-and-lucy-are-medically-unsound Sat, 25 Jul 2015 07:43:53 +0000 http://htv.com.pk/?p=9188 Why Limitless and Lucy are Medically Unsound

Ever watched Neil Burger’s Limitless? Most of you must have, and for those who haven’t, let me brief you about it. It’s about a guy who had a strange pill that increased his mind’s capabilities so much that he started using a 100% of it.

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Why Limitless and Lucy are Medically Unsound

Ever watched Neil Burger’s Limitless? Most of you must have, and for those who haven’t, let me brief you about it. It’s about a guy who had a strange pill that increased his mind’s capabilities so much that he started using a 100% of it. This increased his productivity remarkably, and he soon became a success.

Now wouldn’t that be a wonder?

If you want to succeed, just take a magic pill and all your dreams will come true. Easy as it was in the movie, reality is quite different. Although this phenomenon has been depicted in various other pop-culture movies and stories, such as the 2014 blockbuster movie Lucy, and DC Comic character, Deathstroke, it has been rejected and proven wrong on scientific grounds. Even the mastermind of all times, Albert Einstein, has been tagged with the sensational assumption that claimed that he used more than 10% of his brain, thus his genius.

The myth of how much a person uses his mind is old and has been prevalent for decades. Previously, people thought that brain consists of a multitude of cells. Not all of them had been studied at that point. Plus, most of the brain cells are glial cells, which do not actually perform the neural function of signal transmission but only support the brain cells that do it – the neurons.

This led people to believe that we do not use a hundred percent of our brain.

However, modern technology and advancement have led to a different opinion. Brain is made up of numerous cells and all of them have their own specific use. If any one of them is damaged, the loss of activity that results is proportionate to the amount of damage done.

In an article in Scientific American, John Henley, neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, stated that there is proof that over a day a human being uses more than 10% of his brain. This has been proven by Barry Beyerstein who has given seven points of evidence in this regard. According to him, if 90% of the brain normally remains unused, then there should be no defect in human performance if any part of the brain is damaged; but this is quite wrong. No matter what part of the brain is damaged, there is always some error in human performance.

Also, brain scans and other tests have proven that all parts of the human brain are always functioning, even during sleep. So how can a person use less than 10% of their brain when even during sleep their whole mind is active and working? Brain mapping has also been unable to demonstrate any brain area that does not serve a useful purpose.

A human brain has a very small weight in comparison to the whole body but it consumes a significant amount of oxygen and energy. What is the use of all this consumption if the brain is used for a mere 10% or less? Even common sense does not support why nature would make something that is not required. Further, if indeed so much of the brain were not in use, then all this unused part of the brain should degenerate. So why doesn’t the autopsy report ever show these degenerated masses?

The theory that a human brain is not used more than 10% and using it more with the help of a medicine increases human capabilities and functioning is false and has been busted by Mythbusters in their episode aired on October 27, 2010, when the hosts used magnetoencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brain of a person attempting a complicated mental task, and found that well over 10% of the brain was used, concluding that in difficult tasks, a normal person can use more than 10% of their brain.

This episode of Mythbusters was aired in 2010, but the 2011 Limitless and 2014 Lucy still made a big success and bewitched many people. Some people claim that those who can use greater percentage of their brains can achieve psychic powers and other talents like telekinesis, teleportation and telepathy. No matter how much science and common sense disregard this phenomenon, it will retain its spark with the layman. I think people will believe what they want to believe, for the love of movies and the thrill of a good fiction continues.

What do you think?

Article source AFP

About the author: Sehrish Khan is a House Officer at Civil Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. She is interested in the field of Cardiology and is currently working as Senior Editor and Blogger for JPMS Blogs.

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