There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding cancer. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it is often followed by a rollercoaster of emotions. One of the best defences you have against cancer is knowledge, and unfortunately, many mistruths are circulating on the internet about the nature of cancer treatment.
Misinformation is harmful, particularly around cancer treatment. The wrong advice or belief can lead a patient to forgo critical treatments or delay making an appointment to see a healthcare professional about a diagnosis.
The following are some of the most common misconceptions about cancer.
All cancers can be detected early with regular check-ups
Although you significantly increase your chances of detecting cancer early if you have regular check-ups – this is not always the case. Modern medical technology has gotten rather good at detecting prostate, cervix, breast, lung, rectum, and colon cancers early, but other forms of cancer such as pancreatic, lung, ovarian, and Kidney cancer are trickier to detect during regular check-ups.
The best line of defence against ‘hidden’ cancers is to contact your local health provider should you experience any unusual symptoms so further tests can be made.
You cannot live a normal life while you undergo cancer treatment
Most people who are diagnosed undergo cancer treatment at home and within their local community. Since the 1990s, more hospitals have been delivering cancer treatments in outpatient settings rather than inpatient.
Much research and funding as gone into helping patients receive care at home and live as normally as possible. With the increase of funding and improvement in drugs, many cancer patients are encouraged to stay active during treatment.
Not only is it more cost-effective, but cancer patients report to have an overall more satisfactory experience with their treatment if they are given the option to stay at home or visit a clinic, rather than being hospitalized long-term.
Cancer Treatment is Compulsory
Not at all. It is entirely up to the patient to decide whether they want to receive treatment.
Treatment can never be forced upon a patient. There are many reasons why someone may forgo treatment.
For example, some cancers are extremely slow-growing, and the patients would prefer to keep an eye on the growth rather than treating it immediately. This may be an option for someone who has another health concern that they would like to address first. Treatment is always an option if the cancer growth begins to speed up.
No matter what you may see on the internet or hear from friends and family, the only way to get the truth is to speak to your healthcare professional.
It is great that cancer awareness is prevalent, and you can get a lot of information at home. However separating fact from fiction is tricky since many of the characteristics of cancer and treatment are determined by your situation, medical history, and the type of cancer you may have.
Protect your health, and don’t leave room for doubt. Speak to a healthcare professional if you have any questions regarding your health.