A mere mention of cancer can strike fear into our hearts. However, you can say that this fear is not unfounded, as it is one of the top causes of deaths in the world. And yet a majority of people don’t even know the basic facts about this disease and believe in unproven myths. So, in this article, we will debunk these myths and provide you with the facts that can help you understand cancer in a better manner.
Cancer is not a Genetic Disease
It is a widespread belief that cancer is a genetic disease, however, it is a big hoax. Unlike many other diseases caused due to genetics, only 1 percent of cancers are inherited. This means that the majority of cancers begin from mature cells in the body, through mutations of DNA. These mutations can damage the DNA and accelerate division of cells, halt their death or change their ability to migrate through the body.
A Single Mutation Cannot Cause Cancer
Mutations in our DNA happen every second as our cells divide and replicate. In many cases, if there is a problem during mutations, the built-in repair system in our body takes care of it by fixing them or instructing the cell to die if it has been damaged beyond repair. However, in the case of cancer, a cluster of cancer-related genes mutate abnormally. It can be due to any reason, one of them is that mutations build up over time without being treated, thus resulting in cancer. Which is why it is seen that many cases of cancer happen to older people.
Chemotherapy Targets Cancer Cells
The process of Chemotherapy does not specifically target cancer cells over other body cells. As cancer cells divide and grow faster than normal cells, they get hit by the chemotherapy first. However, it also means that other fast-growing cells in the body like our hair. Which is why people going through the process of chemotherapy lose their hair often.
Environmental Factors Can Cause Cancer
The environment has a substantial effect on the structure and formation of our DNA. Any changes in the DNA in regard to the environment like a problem in regulation and copying or transcription of any particular gene is known as Epigenetics. As cancer is basically uncharacteristic growth of cells due to a mutation in DNA, the environment plays an integral part in causing cancer. Some environmental causes of cancer are viruses, ionising radiation, pollution in the air, water and such.
The p53 Tumor-Suppressor Gene
The p53 Tumor-Suppressor gene is involved in the stimulation and regulation of more than 50 genes in the body. This gene regulates the lifecycle functions and death of the cells. Mutations in the p53 gene lead to DNA damage, and if it not treated timely, it can result in cancer which is why in the majority of the cancers this gene is found in the mutated stage.
Immunotherapy is of Different Types
Immunotherapy is a treatment that utilizes a specific part of any person’s immune system to fight against diseases like cancer. There are many types of immunotherapies used to treat cancer today, like:
- Monoclonal Antibodies
- Cancer Vaccines
- Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
- Non-Specific Immunotherapies that use Cytokines
While each of these immunotherapies works differently for different cancers, most of them still improve your immune system.
Oncogene and Cancer Connections
An oncogene is a gene that can potentially turn any cell cancerous. It happens when the gene is mutated and expressed at high levels in the body. Moreover, once the cells turn cancerous, they are capable of growing into big tumours by pulling in the body’s healthy cells and reeling them into the tumor.
With the advancement in technology, precision medicines are being developed to target the individual characteristics of a person’s disease. In the case of cancer, subgroups of people are being created now, who have the same driving mutations in their cancers.
Secure Yourself Financially with Cancer Insurance
A healthy lifestyle and routine check-ups may help you keep a check on cancer; you cannot ward off the threat forever. Moreover, cancer not only affects you physically but can also throw you into a debt trap. While there is no way to be absolutely immune, you can make sure that your savings don’t take a hit, in case cancer comes knocking on your door, by purchasing a cancer insurance policy.
Most health Insurance plans primarily cover hospitalisation and medical bills. However, these plans do not cover post-treatment lifestyle expenses. That's where a cancer insurance policy comes in. With cancer plans, you can easily cover your living expenses while undergoing cancer treatment, without worrying about any financial repercussions.
At Future Generali, we help create a comprehensive cancer plan that provides you complete financial protection. In our cancer protect plan, you receive 25 percent of the sum assured if diagnosed with cancer during initial stages, which you can avail four times during the policy period. On the other hand, if you are diagnosed with the condition during the later stages, you will receive the entire cover amount. Furthermore, with cancer insurance plans, you can also avail significant tax benefits under Section 80D.
Now that you have a detailed overview and understanding of cancer and the importance of the cancer insurance policy, purchasing it should be the next thing on your mind. Remember that cancer can strike at any time and by buying insurance you can be sure that your out-of-pocket expenditures are taken care of.