Hearing that you have cancer is sure to make your heart drop. For many patients, it's not just the diagnosis that brings about feelings of fear and apprehension — it's also the treatment. Cancer treatment is not known for being pleasant, but there are also some myths and misconceptions floating around that make cancer treatment sound worse than it actually is. Here are a few of those myths.
#1: Chemotherapy is necessary for the treatment of all cancers.
Chemotherapy, which involves the administration of powerful drugs that kill cancer cells, is a common treatment for cancer. It is known for the unpleasant symptoms it causes — nausea and hair loss. While chemo is common, however, it is not the only cancer treatment around, and there is a chance it won't be the one your doctor recommends. Some cancers are better treated with immunotherapy, which is a type of treatment designed to boost your immune system and cause it to kill off the cancer cells. Other cancers can be treated with surgery and a couple of radiation treatments. Do not assume your cancer diagnosis means you'll have to undergo chemo unless your doctor tells you that you do.
#2: Cancer treatment is dangerous, and alternative methods are better.
Cancer treatments can have lasting effects on your fertility, and they may cause long-lasting side effects like nerve damage or scarring in some patients. But this does not mean you should forego these treatments and opt for alternative therapies, like juicing or acupuncture, instead. Although conventional cancer treatments do have side effects, they are well supported by research. Living with long-term side effects is surely better than losing your life — a likely consequence if you rely on herbs and unproven methods for treatment.
#3: You can fight cancer with positive thoughts.
You may have heard someone assert that "it's all in your head" and that thinking positively can cause your cancer to go away. The human mind is powerful, and it is definitely important to stay positive throughout your cancer treatment. However, you should not rely on thoughts, alone, to cure your cancer. Rather, you should rely on conventional treatment and use positive thinking as a supplemental care tactic. Working with a therapist can help re-frame your mindset if you're struggling with nagging or negative thinking after a cancer diagnosis.
If you have any lingering questions or concerns about cancer treatment, talk to your doctor or contact a company in your area like the Silver Cancer Institute.