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    The claim: Cancer is trying to heal, not kill

    A patient lies on a stretcher during triage at an emergency hospital during a rescue exercise in case of an outbreak of an infectious disease on ships, at the container terminal at the port of Hamburg, northern Germany on October 15, 2021. - Passengers and crew of for example cruise ships can come into contact with a wide variety of pathogens or become a target of potential terrorist attacks with biological weapons. During the exercise, procedures and cooperation between different emergency services and authorities are tested. The emergency services practice simulated intensive medical treatment of patients in an emergency hospital. (Photo by Axel Heimken / AFP) (Photo by AXEL HEIMKEN/AFP via Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 0 ORIG FILE ID: AFP_9PQ6KG.jpg © AXEL HEIMKEN, AFP via Getty Images A patient lies on a stretcher during triage at an emergency hospital during a rescue exercise in case of an outbreak of an infectious disease on ships, at the container terminal at the port of Hamburg, northern Germany on October 15, 2021. - Passengers and crew of for example cruise ships can come into contact with a wide variety of pathogens or become a target of potential terrorist attacks with biological weapons. During the exercise, procedures and cooperation between different emergency services and authorities are tested. The emergency services practice simulated intensive medical treatment of patients in an emergency hospital. (Photo by Axel Heimken / AFP) (Photo by AXEL HEIMKEN/AFP via Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 0 ORIG FILE ID: AFP_9PQ6KG.jpg

    Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, claiming about 600,000 lives per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    But a recent social media claim has a very different take on the illness that trails only heart disease in mortality.

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    "Cancer is trying to heal, not kill," reads the text in a post shared to Instagram on Oct. 14. "A cancerous tumor is basically a bag the human body creates to collect toxins that are contaminating the bloodstream."

    The Instagram post, liked about 100 times in the first day online, adds that biopsy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are harmful.

    But the claim is false. Cancer is a deadly disease that can disrupt vital organ function, experts say.

    USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment.

    Cancer is dangerous to the human body

    Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body abnormally and uncontrollably grow and multiply, according to Dr. Henry Park, chief of thoracic radiotherapy at Yale Medicine. These cells can then invade nearby organs and spread to other organs in the body, causing them to no longer function correctly. 

    "Lymph nodes are an important part of the immune system that filter toxins from the blood, and cancer cells can be among these toxins captured by the lymph nodes," Park told USA TODAY. "However, the cancer itself does not remove any toxins and gives no benefits to the body." 

    The post is also wrong implying all cancers involve tumors.

    Cancers can form solid tumors, but cancers in the blood generally do not, according to the National Cancer Institute. Cancerous tumors can invade other tissues beyond where theyoriginated, causing new tumors to form in a process called metastasis.

    Metastasis is the major cause of cancer-related deaths, according to a 2017 study published by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, part of the National Institutes of Health. 

    The procedures referenced in the post – biopsy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy – are actions taken to identify or alleviate the risk of cancer. 

    A biopsy is when doctors remove a sample of tissue from the body to analyze it, according to the Mayo Clinic. This examination can help doctors identify abnormal activity in the tissue or if the patient has cancer.

    Radiotherapy and chemotherapy can have side effects but are often very effective in killing the cancer cells and preventing worsening symptoms or death, according to Park.

    Radiotherapy involves using high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill fast-growing cells.

    "Research consistently shows that patients with cancer who have refused to undergo standard-of-care treatments as recommended by their physicians are more likely to die than those who do choose to undergo these treatments," Park said.

    Our rating: False

    Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that cancer is trying to heal a person, not kill them. Cancer, which kills about 600,000 people each year in the U.S. alone, does not remove any toxins from the body, experts say. 

    Our fact-check sources:

    Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

    Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim that cancer is trying to heal a person, not kill them

    Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/fact-check-false-claim-that-cancer-is-trying-to-heal-a-person-not-kill-them/ar-AAPNvCl

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