Paying attention to myths about cancer is never a good idea. Listening to the wrong myth could disrupt your treatment and affect your chances of survival. Myths abound, and some may lead to false hope in patients or irrational fear as well. If you are hesitant to participate in treatment, or to be tested because of a cancer-related myth – it could be fatal! Be aware of these common misconceptions about cancer, and ALWAYS talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any fear as a result of them.
Myth: Cancer is contagious.
Truth: Cancer cannot be spread from one person to another. It is not something that you can catch! There are some particular cancers that may result from viral infections however, so care should be taken to avoid getting these infections through sexual activity or I.V. drug use with infected needles. These include liver and cervical cancers.
Myth: Cancer spreads when exposed to air during a surgical procedure.
Truth: Cancer never spreads because it is exposed in surgery. During a surgical procedure, the surgeon may discover more cancerous tissue than initially suspected, however. This discovery will lead to the patient feeling as though the surgery caused the increased presence of cancerous tissue in the body.
Myth: A positive attitude cures Cancer.
Truth: Being and staying positive throughout cancer treatment is of the utmost importance. Not because it can cure anything, but because it makes the treatment much less horrible for the patient. Having faith, or maintaining a positive feeling about treatment will also decrease potential side effects and immune disruptions such as colds and the flu.