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Myths About Cancer

Despite the many advances in cancer care in the past few decades I still hear people continuing to pass on myths about cancer. It is important that everyone (family, friends, health care providers) help dispel these rumors.

For example, I still hear people saying that the diagnosis of "cancer" is equal to pain, suffering and death for all patients. With all the advances in cancer treatment in the past several decades this is no longer true.

Another myth is that cancer is a "contagious" illness that spreads when anyone has contact with a cancer patient. There is not any type of cancer that can be spread by simply touching a cancer patient. And most individuals with cancer feel isolated enough that you do not want to make them feel worse by not hugging, kissing or touching them.

The third one I heard recently is that being diagnosed with cancer is a "punishment" for bad deeds. I think every person has done some "bad deed" in his/her past, but not everone develops cancer. So this certainly could not be true.

The last myth is that individuals with depression are more likely to develop cancer. Like the third myth probably everyone has felt "down" or depressed at some point in his/her life, but not everyone develops cancer. There may be some environmental or genetic factors that might predispose an individual to cancer, but certainly having depression does not make anyone more likely to develop cancer.

Hopefully, with continued advances in cancer and empowering individuals with cancer and their families will help us dispel these myths or rumors in the future and provide HOPE instead.
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