The Five Most Common Cancer Myths: Don’t Let Them Impact You
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, there are things you should do immediately:
- Find the right doctor and care team for you (see our eBook on Questions To Ask Your Doctor)
- Implement a healthy diet and exercise regimen (see the GL Rainbow Diet Guide)
- Decide who is on your ‘Team” — these should be people you love that can support you
There are also things you shouldn’t do and myths or rumors that you shouldn’t believe because they can cause you to make poor decisions that can negatively impact your health.
The most common mistakes based on untruths our patients tell us about are:
Mistake No. 1: I feel great. I’ll just wait.
The issue with this myth is that we all know you can’t feel cancer cells growing in your body, yet people still make decisions based on how they feel. If how you feel was precise enough to help you, then you would have done something when the first cancer cells appeared, but you couldn’t because “feel” isn’t precise enough to tell you what is going on inside your body. By the time you start feeling “bad”, cancer has likely progressed to a more severe stage which makes treatment more difficult and your long-term prognosis less positive. “I always tell patients that once they are diagnosed, they need to take action,” says Dr. Tom Incledon, Founder & CEO of Causenta. “Not only is cancer treatment more successful when found and treated early, but patients will also react better to the side effects of treatment if their bodies are not yet feeling the effects of the disease.” Incledon also recommends regular checkups, which help patients and doctors track any changes in baseline health that may reveal cancer developing.
Mistake No. 2: I don’t have any pain. I’ll just wait.
The issue with this myth is that if you wait to start feeling bad, cancer has likely progressed to a more severe stage which makes treatment more difficult and your long-term prognosis less positive. “I always tell patients that once they are diagnosed, they need to take action,” says Dr. Tom Incledon, Founder & CEO of Causenta. “Not only is cancer treatment more successful when found and treated early, but patients will also react better to the side effects of treatment if their bodies are not yet feeling the effects of the disease.” Incledon also recommends regular checkups, which help patients and doctors track any changes in baseline health that may reveal cancer developing.
Mistake No. 3: Dr. Google said …
Once someone is diagnosed with cancer, the patient or a loved one will often turn to the internet for answers, but it is important to note that not everything on the internet is true. Another important point is that the first thing that shows up in a search does not make it the best treatment; that is the result of a stellar marketing firm that knows how to optimize search words and websites. “I always urge people to make sure they are getting information from a reputable source such as a well-known and respected hospital or cancer center or the American Cancer Society’s website,” says Incledon.
Mistake No. 4: Radiation causes cancer.
Regular amounts of radiation have not been found to cause cancer. Extreme exposure to radiation in the case of nuclear power plant accidents can increase the risk of cancer, but this is very rare. Also, receiving radiation as a treatment for cancer or during a diagnostic procedure rarely leads to cancer, and the benefit you receive from them is nearly always greater than the risk.
Some patients are great candidates for radiation or chemotherapy. After careful examination and testing, our oncologist at Causenta often combines traditional with alternative and personalized therapies to maximize results and minimize side effects.
Mistake No. 5: Surgery makes cancer spread.
It is highly unlikely that a surgical procedure will cause cancer to metastasize or spread throughout the body. Oncology surgeons use special techniques and surgical tools to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. They are very detailed to ensure they remove the entire tumor as well as tissues around it so as to not disrupt the cancer cells. Also, if tissue needs to be removed from more than one area of the body, a new set of tools are used for each area.
Last, but not least: “This worked for my friend, so it will work for me.”
This statement is a really big misnomer,” says Incledon. “Each person’s body makeup and genes are different, and each cancer is unique, so what works for one person may or may not work for someone else.” At Causenta, the dedicated team works to understand each patient’s body composition, blood markers, genetic markers, cancer type, exercise, and diet regimen, so that they can develop an individualized plan that will work specifically to fight your cancer and get you back to health.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is stressful and emotional, so it is even more important to be sure you are aware of potential pitfalls that can harm your long-term prognosis. You, along with your support team, are your biggest advocates. Learn about your cancer and treatment options from reputable sources, most importantly, an oncologist who can answer your questions and provide you with a customized treatment plan. If you are uncomfortable with the answers you get or the strategies suggested, seek a second opinion. “It’s important for patients to realize that the first treatment rarely works,” Incledon says. “Your doctor should have a plan that will change as your body reacts and effectiveness can be measured.”
For more information on holistic, personalized cancer treatment at Causenta, schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation today.