Most people, by the time they are diagnosed, have heard and internalized a lot of different facts and myths about cancer. Given the preponderance of media representations and personal stories passed around about cancer, this is pretty unavoidable and mostly harmless. However, in some cases, some cultural information that is often passed along about cancer can be incorrect, and in the worst case, harmful. Here we break down a few common myths and give you the reality of the situation.
Chemo and surgery are the only ways to treat cancer
Chemo and surgery are certainly the most common and famous ways to treat cancer—and may often be the most effective—but they are far from the only ways you can treat your cancer. In addition to more traditional treatments, a variety of other natural and unnatural treatments and lifestyle changes can help holistically improve the outlook and quality of life of your cancer journey. Those possible lifestyle changes include, but aren’t limited to dietary changes, supplements, detoxification treatments such as saunas and energy dots, exercise, and other environmental purification.
If you don’t do chemo and surgery, your cancer won’t go away
Again, while chemo and surgery are generally the most well-known of cancer treatments, it doesn’t mean that they are the only ways to get rid of your cancer. There are many alternative treatments to the medical norm that can help bring your cancer into remission without the use of chemo or surgery. These treatments can be particularly useful when traditional chemotherapy or surgery have failed, or when a patient judges that the possible side effects of chemotherapy or surgery are intolerable or incompatible with maintaining an appropriate quality of life. These alternative treatments can also be used in tandem with traditional cancer treatments such as chemo and surgery instead of just as a replacement.
Your diet doesn’t play a role in cancer
Your diet certainly plays a role in your cancer, its development, and your body’s ability to effectively fight it. In particular, research has shown that high insulin levels can lead to a better breeding ground for cancer; conversely, lower insulin levels can help suppress cancer. As such, a low sugar, high protein diet can help your body actively fight cancer. If that diet isn’t possible for you, it is still important to fully—and healthily—fuel your body such that it can properly operate and stay healthy beyond the bounds of your cancer. Your body is a machine that needs to be holistically operating at its best in order to fully and efficiently resist disease.
If your family history has cancer, you will get it too
While a family history of cancer is certainly predictive of your contracting cancer in the future, the fact that members of your family have had cancer definitely does not mean with certainty that you will contract it as well. A family history of cancer is a good sign that you should proactively screen for cancer and consider yourself at higher risk, but it does not mean that it is a foregone conclusion that you will contract it as well. Healthy lifestyle changes can help decrease your risk the same way your family history may have elevated it.
Cancer is contagious
For any serious disease, it is often tempting to question whether it can be contagious—with cancer, the resounding answer to that question is “no.” While cancer can be a scary disease to witness from the outside, it is a genetics and environment-driven disease that you have no chance of being infected with via exposure.
All in all, cancer can be a difficult condition to fully understand, but that doesn’t mean you should give into disinformation or confusion while attempting to understand it. It is important to approach such a serious subject with the informational rigor it deserves, in order to respect both patients and their doctors, who have dedicated their lives to treating it.