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Biggest Myths and Misconceptions About Cancer


Cancer is a scary word and an even more terrifying concept. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been personally affected by cancer, or at least know of someone who has. It is something we all fear deep down, and unfortunately like many other common and widespread health afflictions, there’s a lot of misinformation out there that is often spread by word of mouth or on the internet.

We’re here to dispel any wishy washy myths or misconceptions that have been circling around the topic of cancer. We’re also going to clarify what the truth is behind each of these myths by providing cold hard facts that have been proven through scientific research. Here are 14 of the biggest cancer myths and the truth behind them…

1. Cancer is a Death Sentence

While cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in the United States, cancer-related deaths have been on the decline since the 1990s. According to the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year survival rates for many cancers like prostate, breast, and thyroid have gotten significantly better. They are all up 90-percent and the 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is up 67-percent. If you’d like to see more information on cancer survival rates, visit the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

While this is all great news, cancer should still be taken seriously and prevented when possible. The National Cancer Institute notes that rates of survival are based of large groups of people, so for a more accurate reading survival rates should be calculated based off individual factors like, “whether the cancer is slow or fast growing, how much the cancer has spread in the body, whether effective treatments are available, the person’s overall health, and more.”

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