Cancer Misconceptions

When it comes to cancer, there are many myths and misconceptions. Whether it be word of mouth or information found on the internet, don’t believe everything you hear or see. Below are a few cancer misconceptions debunked to set the record straight.

Misconception #1: Cancer is a death sentence

Cancer is not a death sentence. The likelihood of cancer survival in the United States has significantly increased since the 1990s. In fact, 5-year survival rates for cancers like breast, prostate and thyroid are exceeding 90 percent. There are many factors that can affect a patient’s survival rate — positively and negatively.

Misconception #2: Sugar makes cancer worse

Sugar does not make cancer worse. However, some studies have shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells. This doesn’t mean that eating sugar will make your cancer progress, or if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will disappear. But, consuming excessive sugar can contribute to weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk for developing certain cancers.

Misconception #3: Cancer is contagious

You cannot catch cancer from anyone. The only instance of passing cancer from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation, but the risk is extremely low — about two cases per every 10,000 transplants.

Misconception #4: If my family hasn’t had cancer, I won’t either

You can still develop cancer even if nobody in your family has. Though some cancers can be hereditary, lifestyle choices influence your risk for developing cancer.

Misconception #5: Cancer is a man-made, modern disease

Cancer has been in existence for thousands of years. Researchers have found signs of cancer in skeletons over 3,000 years old. It has even been found in dinosaur bones.

Misconception #6: Modern medicine hasn’t made progress in the fight against cancer

Treating cancer has come a long way. With advanced, state-of-the-art technology and treatment options offered at Southeastern Medical Oncology Center, treating cancer has never been as successful as it is today.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are looking for compassionate and effective care, call the oncologists at Southeastern Medical Oncology Center at (877) 774-0309 to schedule your first appointment.

To schedule an appointment, or for more information, call 919-580-0000. You can also schedule an appointment using our easy online appointment request form.