Cancer: What You Need to Know (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Cancer Myths and Reality
MYTH: Progress for people with advanced cancer has been so slow because there is a conspiracy between the American Medical Association and drug companies. Some people with cancer and their families think doctors are keeping the cure for cancer under wraps so that money can be made from cancer treatments.
REALITY: Does any reasonable person think that a cure for cancer would remain secret for long? Obviously not.
MYTH: We can put a man on the moon. We can send a rocket around Jupiter. Why can't we cure cancer?
REALITY: This question underscores a common misunderstanding that cancer is one disease. In fact, cancer is a group of hundreds of diseases. Each disease has a unique biological record, and each of which may be caused by very different circumstances. Cancer which starts in the breast is different disease than cancer which starts in the lung, for example. One "magic bullet" will not eradicate all types of cancers.
MYTH: If we can only hold on for a few more months, a cure will be on the horizon and all will be well.
REALITY: Although there have been spectacular advances in the treatment of cancer and although people are living far longer today than in any time in history, it is not reasonable to expect that, within the next years, there will be a "heat-seeking missile" or some magical vaccine to annihilate cancer. Progress against this dreaded group of diseases has been agonizingly slow, but it is moving forward in the right direction.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2016
Edward T Creagan, MD
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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