Cancer Myths Revealed

17 February 2015

Being diagnosed with cancer can be a difficult and daunting time. There are many myths surrounding cancer and the head of AXA PPP healthcare’s specialist cancer nurse team has tried to make some of them a little clearer.

Myth 1: A cancer diagnosis is a life sentence.

Truth: All cancers differ but 50% of people with cancer now survive ten or more years and some cancers are known to have even higher survival rates, especially when detected early.

Myth 2: Life stops when you have cancer.

Truth: Medicines can help treat symptoms and long stays in hospital are often not necessary as much of cancer treatment can be undertaken as an out-patient. Depending on how you experience your symptoms, you can decide how much of your daily life needs to change.

Myth 3: Undergoing cancer treatment means you have to stop working.

Truth: Working life may have to be adapted but it does not mean you will have to stop working all together. For many people, the workplace provides a sense of purpose, security and normality and having the support of managers and colleagues can be a hugely positive influence when living with cancer.

Myth 4: A positive attitude will help you beat cancer.

Truth: No one should feel like they have to put on a front, especially when experiencing the worry, fear and sickness caused by cancer and the treatments. The real route to positivity comes from putting in place the support mechanisms that work for you.

Myth 5: Medical professionals are the only people who can help.

Truth: One of the greatest resources available can be other people who have experienced cancer. No two people have the same experience but those who have been through the treatment can give helpful pointers for keeping energy levels up and general wellbeing.

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