Common myths about cancer treatment

Myths and misconceptions about cancer can prevent patients from receiving the right diagnosis and treatment by disseminating false information. It may also be a factor in the stigma and taboo that this illness carries.


Myth 1: Cancer is never curable

The treatment of cancer has advanced significantly in modern medicine. Cancer no longer carries a death sentence. 40% of cancer patients are predicted to be cancer-free after five years. The 5-year survival rate is a crucial metric for estimating the overall prognosis of cancer patients. Enhancing the survival percentage significantly is early diagnosis and identification.

Myth #2: The spread of cancer

In contrast to the majority of common diseases that stem from bacteria, viruses, or other microbes, alterations in cellular DNA are the cause of cancer. These modifications are frequently arbitrary. In most cases, the altered cells are eliminated by cell death mechanisms; but, if these systems are compromised, the condition might progress to cancer. Cancer cannot be passed from one person to another, even though it can spread throughout the body.

Myth #3: You will die from radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a life-saving procedure, but it can be mentally and physically taxing. In order to maximise benefits and minimise risks to patients, radiation therapy has been refined. While some side effects are normal, none of them are fatal. It is best to discuss any radiation-related worries or uncertainties you may have with your doctor before completely declining the therapy.

Myth #4: I won’t get cancer because there is no family history of the disease.

Mutations in cell DNA are the cause of cancer. You are more likely to get cancer if you have a family history of the illness. This does not imply, however, that cancer will not strike you if there is no family history of the illness. Genetic mutations can occur randomly or as a result of lifestyle choices including smoking, obesity, binge drinking, and unhealthy eating patterns, as well as environmental influences like pollution and radiation exposure.

Myth #5: Surgery for cancer will result in the spread of malignancy

Many cancer patients have surgery to remove the tumour or obtain a sample of tissue for a biopsy. The claim that cancer surgery leads to the disease spreading is unsupported by any data. Tumour resection through surgery is a significant and frequently life-saving intervention. It is true that removing a primary tumour surgically can stop cancer from spreading to other parts of the body if the tumour is non-metastasized, meaning it has not moved from its original location.

Myth #6: Every lump has cancer

Most lumps found on screenings and medical exams turn out to be benign or to be something else entirely, like a cyst. To identify whether a tumour is malignant, precancerous, or benign, a doctor will do tests.

Myth #7: How you feel about cancer treatment affects how it goes.

It’s common to experience unpleasant feelings such as sadness, anger, or anxiety when you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Although optimism and hope are beneficial, patients shouldn’t be made to feel this way. Let cancer patients respond to each other as they see fit. Cancer cannot be caused by a “negative attitude” or cured by a “positive attitude.” Still, it’s helpful to have an optimistic mindset and hold out hope. Over the past few decades, there has been a significant improvement in survival rates due to the effectiveness of modern cancer treatments.

Dr. Ashish Goel has 25 years experience in oncology and oncosurgery. He is the best cancer surgeon and oncologist in Noida, Delhi, NCR. He has a keen interest in Breast Oncology, Head and Neck Surgery and Thoracic Oncology. He is equally trained in treating Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary and Gynaecological cancers. Dr Goel is currently Director and HoD Surgical Oncology at Jaypee Hospital, Noida.