Celebrating World Cancer Day 2014: Disproving Cancer Myths and Stigmas (Part 1)

Celebrating World Cancer Day 2014: Disproving Cancer Myths and Stigmas (Part 1)Almost every month of a year is assigned to increase people’s awareness towards a certain type of cancer, but for the month of February the spotlight is on the disease in its entirety. The 4th of February will be a chance for people and institutions to unite for a specific cause and that is to spread accurate information about cancer in the hopes of improving people’s knowledge about this global pandemic.

This year, the goal is to debunk all the misconceptions concerning cancer so that proper prevention and treatment measures can be done on time. The website WorldCancerDay.org talked about how the focus this year is to dispel for surprisingly common beliefs about cancer, which prevents people from getting the right medical help that is needed to battle such a dreadful disease.

Myth #1: There is No Need for a Cancer Discussion

Now this first myth is nowhere near the truth simply because any kind of medical condition, illness or disease needs to be discussed with a loved one, a trusted friend, and more importantly, a medical professional.

The Truth: Cancer is indeed a difficult issue to address and talk about, particularly when cultural differences and diverse socio-political settings are involved, but choosing not to discuss the matter will be detrimental to overcoming the disease. From personal conversations to community discussions and public policy debates, it is very important that people and institutions carefully deliberate about cancer and its consequences, whether it is on an individual or on a massive, more far-reaching scale.



What You Can Do If You or Someone You Know Has Cancer

Encourage a discussion. Finding out you have cancer is a life-changing moment, and people who will face this kind of event are bound to experience a rollercoaster of emotions, such as fear, shock, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and even anger. A conversation with a trusted friend, relative, or almost always helps a person cope with the fact that he or she has cancer.

Beware of the cancer stigmas present in your town or neighborhood. As absurd as it may sound today, there are still a lot of people who feel differently about cancer and discriminate those who are diagnosed with it. This is why some cancer patients do not admit that they have cancer, fearing they would be singled out and treated differently because of their condition. This causes a cycle of fear, not to mention a spread of misinformation, that is dangerously present in countries all over the world, including the United States. That is why raising awareness is one of the best ways to fight the disease, otherwise whatever advancements we have made in fighting cancer can be pulled back by the false truths that some people continue to believe in.

Start an awareness campaign within your family, moving outwards. Even the most well-informed communities have a low level of willingness when it comes to talking about cancer. By sitting down with a family member or talking it over during lunch, you are helping take down whatever information barriers there are about cancer. Your loved ones can then start talking to their circle of friends about the disease and disprove other myths that are circulating all over the world today.

Keep yourself updated on the latest developments on cancer treatment and prevention. You can research about holistic treatments for cancer or ask a medical professional about conventional treatment methods such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Myth #2: Cancer Has No Signs and Symptoms

Cancer is a disease caused by cells that have gone rogue and started attacking surrounding tissues in a specific area of the body. With the kind of technology available to the medical researchers and scientists in the world, cancer is not entirely a disease shrouded in mystery.

The Truth: Most cancers have accompanying warning signs and symptoms that you can watch out for. Early detection can help mitigate the possible effects of this disease.

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms

Since it has no proven cure yet, prevention is the key to overcoming the disease. Efforts to raise awareness regarding cancer signs and symptoms should be a joint effort of various communities, policy makers, and health institutions, not just individuals for a more effective campaign. Cancer outcomes will drastically improve if more and more people are aware of the telltale signs, even those types that have the lowest survival rates such as ovarian and pancreatic cancers.

Cancer researchers from various corners of the globe are constantly looking out for new and innovative ways for early cancer detection, not to mention researching about pioneering tests that could mean early diagnosis for certain types of cancers.

Why is Early Detection So Important?

The key phrase is “better cancer outcomes”, which means that through early detection, an individual is able to improve his or her chances of surviving the disease. Any and all forms of strategies that can help raise awareness and stress the importance of knowing the symptoms and getting medical care when the signs are present are highly encouraged.

Read Celebrating World Cancer Day 2014: Disproving Cancer Myths and Stigmas (Part 2) to find out Myth 3 & 4


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