Fear, dread, anxiety, emotional distress.… Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing experience that is rightly defined by one’s access to the right support and verified information. Sadly, this isn’t always the case for a huge number of cancer patients. This is further worsened the horrible myths about cancer treatment.
Understanding that the dearth of verified information about cancer treatment can significantly affect one’s chances of receiving the right support and treatment, we believe you need to be aware of the following myths surrounding the treatment of cancer.
Myth: Oxygen feeds cancer and makes it more aggressive
Fact: A challenging disease to understand, cancer cells are nothing like the regular human cells that thrive in the presence of oxygen. Cancer cells have been discovered to prefer glucose to oxygen, and their non-oxygen metabolism increases the rate at which they grow and spread.
So, rather than feeding cancer cells and making them more aggressive, oxygen has been identified as being vital in the treatment of cancer. In fact, oxygen therapy is accepted as a safe and effective method of killing cancer cells without ravaging the patients’ immune system, protecting healthy cells, and neutering cancer cells.
Myth: Positive thoughts alone can cure cancer
There is no denying the fact that positive thoughts help improve the quality of life and reduce the distress that one faces after a cancer diagnosis. However, there is no proof that positive thoughts alone can prevent the resurgence of cancer or ultimately cure it.
A cancer diagnosis cannot be ‘thought away.’ In reality, cancer takes a toll on a person’s physical and mental health. Maintaining a flow of positive thoughts is important. This can be made more effective with the right treatment, support, and mental health therapy.
Myth: Cancer treatment, not cancer, kills patients
Fact: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy…no cancer treatment is 100% safe. The best treatment is often a personalized one that is best suited for a specific cancer diagnosis.
Sadly, even the best treatments might have awful side effects and in worst cases, fail. However, self-care or receiving no treatment does not improve the chances of beating cancer. Researchers have been honest enough to acknowledge these possibilities. They have also remained relentless in their efforts at discovering and administering kinder and more effective treatments. In cases of late-stage or terminal cancer, doctors offer treatments that reduce pain and improve the quality of patients’ lives.
Myth: The side effects of cancer treatments can be ignored in favour of continuing treatment
Fact: Abnormal bruising, sudden health decline, constipation, nausea, or any other side effect should never be ignored in favour of continuing one’s treatment. Rather than thinking of how to ease the concerns of your caregivers, be open about the side effects you are experiencing. You really have everything to gain because they are all interested in seeing you living your best life.
Remember, cancer is a very difficult disease to treat. Once the diagnosis is made, it is best to commence treatment immediately. Cancer can be beaten. Survivors have their tales as proof. You can read our survivor’s tale on defeating cancer here.
Feel free to reach out to us, Should you have questions or nagging beliefs not addressed in this article. You have the option of scouring through Oncopadi for more information. Do not forget to drop your comments in the comment box or chat with us directly. We would love to hear from you.
Until the next episode. Remember: you have a friend in us …..here at Oncopadi.