Three dangerous misconceptions about cancer
A diagnosis of cancer often leads to a downward spiral of ups and downs, fear, optimism, fear, and empowerment. Adding to the distress is the challenging task of gathering information to make an evidence-based decision about a treatment plan. It is normal for patients to develop misconceptions about cancer and its treatment and to miss important new knowledge that research shows can improve treatment outcomes. Here, we discuss three myths that are not only wrong but can also harm a patient’s chances of thriving after a cancer diagnosis.
Myth: I suffer from very personal medical side effects, but I shouldn’t bother my doctor with vanity complaints.
It’s important to let your health care team know what you’re going through so they can identify resources that can help you manage side effects. Every hospital or cancer institution has different ways of treating different problems and side effects, but if your cancer center offers supportive care, it’s a good starting point if you’re not comfortable talking with your oncologist.
But you really have nothing to lose by discussing it with your doctor. For example, many patients experience decreased libido and increased vaginal dryness while receiving hormonal treatments for breast cancer, yet few go to a sex counselor or know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a device that can help reduce vaginal dryness. . If this side effect bothers you, it is important and well worth your doctor’s time. However, not all oncologists are aware of the treatment options available to address quality of life problems. Therefore, seek a second opinion or a referral to a trained health care provider, if necessary.
Myth: All I have to do to get the best treatment result is find the best oncologist and complete the recommended treatment.
There is compelling evidence that getting the “best” cancer treatment is not just about receiving proven treatment protocols. Your ability to manage side effects and complete your treatment depends on your support system, the support and treatment you receive for side effects as they arise, and your understanding and confidence in treatment.
A good question to ask your oncologist is, “What if I have an urgent problem at midnight on Saturday?” Be sure to identify the support systems your cancer center provides. Concern for the patient’s needs only when the patient expresses his need is not enough. Constant monitoring and medical consultations between visits are necessary to improve quality of life and treatment outcomes.
Myth: I shouldn’t burden my family or loved ones by telling them I’m sick.
When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, you’ll need all the help possible to avoid feeling overwhelmed. We tend to think of cancer as a heavy burden for family members, and yes, the stress of the caregiver is real. But when speaking with the families of loved ones who have cancer survivors, some expressed gratitude that their loved ones did not die suddenly from a traumatic injury or heart attack, and that they had the opportunity to show their love and support through words and actions for your loved one. a. Sometimes when we’re in the abyss of depression and despair, it takes people who care to help us awaken to greater potential. Love and healing are not magnified by excluding others from your experience.
She treated patients who asked not to inform their family members, but then had to face disappointment from family members because they lost the opportunity to help or spend more time with their loved ones by staying in the dark. Ask yourself if you would like to know a loved one’s cancer diagnosis if you were the caregiver. The answer for many is “yes”. However, there is nothing wrong with dismissing people who annoy you or seem indifferent to your situation.