Common Myths about Cancer and Cancer Treatment
We live in an era where just about every kind of information is at the tip of our fingertips. The problem is, the digital age has given rise not only to tons of inaccurate information but to downright myths as well.
One of the topics that are frequently the subject of countless myths is cancer. More often than not, misconceptions about the disease are presented (and accepted) as facts by many.
From the communicability of the disease to what mainstream doctors think of alternative cancer treatment, here are some of the most common myths about cancer and cancer treatment
Cancer Is A Death Sentence
It’s true that, to this day, there is no cure for cancer. However, to say that a cancer diagnosis is the definite end of one’s life is inaccurate.
In the United States, the likelihood of succumbing to cancer has been plummeting for decades now. In 2007-2017 alone, cancer death rates have decreased 15%. Early detection and treatment, among other things, have been a factor in the drop in cancer death rates.
Cancer is Contagious
Cancer, per se, is not contagious. Even if you’re taking care of someone with cancer, you are not going to catch it.
However, there are viruses that can lead to the development of cancer, and they are contagious. The human papillomavirus (HPV), for example, is transmissible and can cause cervical cancer. There is a vaccine for HPV so that you can protect yourself from it.
Sugar Feeds Cancer Growth
So much has been written online about how cancer thrives on sugar, but so far, no conclusive evidence saying that sugar spurs cancer growth has been found.
While cancer cells—and all kinds of cells, for that matter—get energy from blood sugar, they don’t grow any faster when given more sugar. Cut sugar out, and cancer cells won’t grow more slowly either.
What a high-sugar diet does, however, is make people gain weight and develop diabetes.
Deodorants Can Cause Cancer
The myth that using antiperspirants can give you cancer has been going around for some time.
Much of the myth about antiperspirants causing cancer revolves around the idea that the skin absorbs the aluminum-based compounds they contain and trap them inside the body, where they cause cancer.
However, to this very day, all the major cancer research organizations have yet to find substantial evidence to support this claim.
Getting Cancer Treatment For the Elderly is Pointless
No one is too old to be treated for cancer, or any illness, for that matter. Many elderly patients have gone on to beat cancer, or extended their lives for years, at the very least.
While it’s true that the elderly might already be suffering from medical conditions that can complicate cancer treatment, doctors have the training needed to deal with such situations. Never let age stop you from getting treatment for any illness, cancer included.
Surgery Causes Cancer to Spread
Surgery is one of the top weapons modern medicine uses to fight cancer. However, there is a myth that says surgery causes cancer to spread because it exposes the tumor to air during the procedure.
The idea of cancer spreading because of exposure is simply false, and a dangerous one at that. It can make cancer patients think twice about getting surgery. The truth is, surgery can help make a patient cancer-free, especially if done in an early stage.
Oncologists Discourage Alternative Treatments
Many cancer patients won’t even dare to broach the topic of alternative approaches to their oncologists, thinking that mainstream doctors are never open to the idea of natural treatment plans and the like.
The truth is, most oncologists don’t mind if their patients want to give alternative options a try. Many of them even encourage it, especially when they complement standard cancer treatments. After all, cancer treatment should also be about helping patients improve their quality of life, and alternative therapies are meant to do just that.
So, if you’re a cancer patient and you want to see if complementary and alternative therapies like herbs, dietary supplements, acupuncture, yoga, and even music therapy can do wonders for your well-being, then don’t hesitate to discuss them with your oncologist.
These are just some of the myths that surround cancer and cancer treatment. Many such myths have already been debunked, but for some reason, some people still believe them.
If you come across something about cancer online and you’re not sure whether it’s a myth or a fact, then ask your doctor about it during your next visit to be sure.
About the Author
Lauren Cole is the Content Marketing Strategist of Dayspring Cancer Clinic, an alternative cancer treatment center located in Scottsdale, Arizona. When not working and writing content, she enjoys gardening and reading books.
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