Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth. It’s important to understand that the cancer that occurs in one individual is very different from cancer in another. There are multiple things that are relevant and need to be assessed for an effective cancer treatment. Cancer treatment for most patients has been a multidisciplinary treatment with respect to the numerous scientists who blessed us with multiple treatment options like surgery, radiation therapy, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Targeted Therapy and Stem cell Therapy. We often see a lot of myths around the treatments and cancer in whole to push people further into darkness.
Let’s understand a few common myths related to cancer treatment.
Myth 1: Fine needle biopsy can disturb cancer cell, resulting in spreading further
Fact: Fine needle biopsy is a minimally invasive technique that uses a thin, hollow needle to pull out a few cells from a tumour. This results in procuring valuable information that can help the doctors determine the suitable treatment. Maybe the doctors prefer giving chemotherapy and radiation before performing a surgery based on the deduction of such tests.
Myth 2: You will lose all your hair during your chemotherapy treatment.
Fact: All chemotherapy drugs do not cause complete hair loss. Some chemotherapy drugs only cause hair thinning. This mostly depends on the type of chemo and combination of drugs used during the treatment. Chemotherapy drugs usually act on rapidly dividing cells in the body, like the ones in the hair follicles. But in some cases patients are treated with targeted drugs that affect specific cells. In such cases there is no hair loss.
Patients who may lose their hair during chemotherapy can use a cold cap and other scalp cooling products with their doctor’s advice.
Myth 3: Radiation therapy is life threatening.
Fact: Radiation therapy can be physically and mentally draining but it is definitely not life threatening. It usually has some side-effects which can be treated and are temporary. The benefit from the radiation therapy is maximum with nominal harm to the patient. On the contrary the disease if left untreated could be life-threatening.
Myth 4: Cancer is an untreatable disease.
Fact: Cancer is curable if detected at an early stage and treated effectively. Every cancer type needs to be treated in a specific order. Multiple types of treatment are there, for instance Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation Therapy etc. In cases where the diagnosis of the disease is delayed palliative treatment is always an option.
Myth 5: A patient undergoing cancer treatment cannot lead a normal life.
Fact: Cancer treatments may affect you physically, mentally and emotionally to a certain extent but it is temporary. During the treatment or after the treatment you may feel unwell but you will recover soon and back to your regular routine.
Myth 6: Cancer treatments are very expensive.
Fact: All cancer treatments are not expensive. You need to know the type of treatment your cancer needs. You can talk to your doctor regarding the expenses and check out places that provides cancer treatment at an affordable price. There are few hospitals in India that provide free cancer treatments. But there are private hospitals in South India that offer the most affordable cancer treatments. These hospitals provide comprehensive cancer treatment to all income group people. One of the best things about cancer treatment in Kerala is, they have some of the finest doctors of the country, supported by skilled medical staff and most advanced medical equipments.
Myth 7: Cancer-free means routine follow up with an oncologist no longer needed.
Fact: Even if your cancer is cured you should keep your routine check-ups on. Your oncologist should be a lifetime mate. Never lower your guards against cancer.
Cancer is just another disease. Early detection and effective treatment can cure most of the types of cancers. Positive mind, healthy habits and a clean diet will help you cope with the treatment and its side-effects. Also, understanding that this disease can be detected at an early stage with just few regular medical tests from time to time. Leave behind the myths, walk along the facts, and keep a positive thought that will help you heal even faster.