Common Myths about Cancer

Your Valley Cancer Specialists / News  / Common Myths about Cancer

When you first hear your cancer diagnosis, your world spins. You feel confused, undecided and concerned. You have to make decisions about your treatment plan. But so many myths of cancer exist that you struggle to make these decisions with full commitment.

The key to fighting your cancer best lies in learning as much as you can about your disease. This includes learning about your type of cancer and treatment options.

Since the first written record of cancer in about 3000 BC, people have resigned themselves to having no chance of surviving the disease. In Egypt at that time, a cancer diagnosis was deadly. But today’s medical community knows how to treat cancer. In researching the disease for many decades, many prior thoughts have been realized to be myths. But still, those myths linger and many people make their decisions based on untruths.

Myths of Cancer

Get to know the truths and myths of your cancer, for your best health going forward. Below are six common cancer myths:

Myth: Cancer is a death sentence.

Truth: Cancer treatment methods have vastly improved in the past years. More people survive their cancer than ever before. Instead of being a fatal disease, many cancers are chronic conditions that can be managed.

Myth: You can “catch” cancer.

Truth: There are viruses and bacteria that lead to cancer, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) and H.pylori bacteria. These are spread from one person to the next. But cancer that develops from these virsuses is not contagious.

Myth: If you have cancer, you must have surgery

Truth: Not every patient needs surgery for their cancer. Every individual patient receives their own treatment plan that includes the treatments best suited for their disease.

Myth: Radiation causes severe burns.

Truth: Most side effects and skin reactions of radiation for cancer are mild. Modern methods for radiation treatment uses targeted energy, only affecting the area of the cancer. This protects healthy organs and tissues.

Myth: Clinical trials are risky.

Truth: Clinical trials include new treatment approaches far along in testing. These trials are conducted under permission of the government with careful controls and monitoring. Independent Review Boards supervise the trials. In fact, all cancer treatments used today went through these trials for government approval. These trials offer participants options for treatment, particularly when all other methods prove unsuccessful.

Myth: Sugar causes your cancer to grow.

Truth: There is no evidence proving sugar causes cancer to spread. Of course, sugary diets cause weight gain. Weight gain does increase your risk of cancer and other diseases.

As you can see from the above myths, these falsehoods come from old beliefs of a time when research into cancer was sparse. People drew conclusions about cancer and those conclusions spread among patients. Get to know the truths of cancer, for a better understanding of your own disease. If you have questions about your treatment options or the disease, itself, ask your treatment team. Information is your best weapon against your cancer and certainly helps put your mind at ease.