Page 15 Complete Your CE Test Online - Click Here might be more likely to adhere to their cancer treatment regimen, maintain social connections, and stay active. But adherence to the treatment regimen is likely to be the most important component in healing and recovery [158]. Patients who have concerns over their “negativity” should be informed very clearly that feeling sad, angry, or depressed did not cause their cancer and does not make cancer grow. “Mind over matter” does not work well with nausea, fatigue, and other aspects of cancer. All other factors being equal, pessimistic people do just as well with cancer as optimistic ones. It is unfortunate that many patients are afraid to allow themselves to feel distressed, but until that myth fades into the background, health professionals may have to keep telling patients that it will not affect their outcome if they allow themselves have “negative” emotions. “Sugar feeds cancer feeds cancer (or makes it grow)” This is a common Internet myth that many patients will undoubtedly repeat or ask about. Nurses are aware that normal cells require glucose to function, and that the body can turn almost any kind of food into glucose if needed. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more glucose than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will cause cancer, or make it worse. No studies have shown that, if a person stops eating sugar, their cancer will shrink or disappear [158]. However, a high-sugar diet can contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. But there are many other factors that cause people to gain weight, which have the same effect [158]. It might become a problem when a patient eats so much processed sugary or starchy food that more nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are neglected, but having occasional sweets along with a healthy diet does not cause cancer or hinder its treatment. “Cancer surgery or biopsy causes cancer to spread” The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. One example is that if they must remove tissue from more than one area of the body, they use different surgical tools for each area [158]. This myth might have begun when others saw a person they thought was healthy get observably worse after surgery or a biopsy, without knowing that the person already had metastatic cancer before the procedure (and indeed, would not have had the procedure at all if they were not symptomatic in some way). “Cancer gets worse if exposed to air” Exposure to air will not make tumors grow faster or cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body [158]. If this were true, surgery could never cure cancer, which as we all know it sometimes does. Like the above, this myth may come from observing someone who already had advanced cancer, who may feel worse (or whose cancer may continue to progress) after surgery. “Artificial sweeteners cause cancer” Researchers have conducted studies on the safety of the artificial sweeteners (i.e. sugar substitutes): saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low®, Sweet Twin®, NectaSweet®); cyclamate; aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®); acesulfame potassium (Sunett®, Sweet One®); sucralose (Splenda®); and neotame, and found no evidence that they cause cancer in humans. All of these artificial sweeteners except for cyclamate have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the U.S. [158]. “Cell phones cause cancer” According to the best studies completed so far, this does not appear to be true. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage DNA [158]. “Power lines cause cancer” Power lines emit both electric and magnetic energy. The electric energy emitted by power lines is easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emitted by power lines is a low- frequency form of radiation that does not ionize molecules or damage DNA [158]. “Antiperspirants or deodorants cause breast cancer” The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue [158]. Many people also believe that “toxins” are released through sweat, and that these can build up when a person uses antiperspirant. There is no biological basis for this, since sweat consists of fluids and electrolytes, and does not secrete “toxic” substances. “Dying your hair causes cancer” There is no convincing scientific evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer [158]. TYPES OF CANCER Cancers are typically named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form. For example, lung cancer starts in cells of the lung, and brain cancer starts in cells of the brain. Cancers also may be described by the type of cell that formed them, such as an epithelial cell or a squamous cell [202]. Cell-specific types of cancer These are the most common types of cancer by cell type. This is the terminology that is found on pathology reports and can be used to help patients understand these reports. Carcinoma Carcinomas are the most common type of cancer. They are formed by epithelial cells, which cover the inside and outside surfaces of the body. Epithelial cells often have a column-like shape when viewed under a microscope, but there are many types of epithelial cells. Carcinomas that begin in different epithelial cell types have even more-specific names: ● ● Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that forms in glandular epithelial cells, which produce fluids or mucus. Most cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate are adenocarcinomas. ● ● Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the lower or basal layer of the epidermis. ● ● Squamous cell carcinoma is a cancer that forms in squamous cells, epithelial cells that lie just beneath the outer surface of the skin. Squamous cells are also found in organs like the stomach, intestines, lungs, bladder, and kidneys. Squamous cells look flat, like fish scales, when viewed under a microscope. Squamous cell carcinomas may also be called epidermoid carcinomas. ● ● Transitional cell carcinoma is a cancer that forms in a type of epithelial tissue called transitional epithelium, or urothelium. This tissue, which is made up of many layers of epithelial cells that can get bigger and smaller, is found in the linings of the bladder, ureters, the renal pelvis, and a few other organs. Some cancers of the bladder, ureters, and kidneys are transitional cell carcinomas [202]. Sarcoma Sarcomas are cancers that form in bone and soft tissues, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and fibrous tissue such as tendons and ligaments. Soft tissue sarcoma forms in soft tissues of the body, including muscle, tendons, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, fibrous tissues such as tendons and ligaments, and the tissue around joints. The most common types of soft tissue sarcoma are leiomyosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. Osteosarcoma is the most common cancer of bone [202]. Leukemia Cancers that begin in the blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow are called leukemias. Large numbers of abnormal white blood cells (leukemia cells and leukemic blast cells) proliferate in the blood and bone marrow, crowding out normal blood cells. Low numbers of normal