28 June 2005

Cancer Myths Erroneously Treated as Facts

A study done by Dr. Ted Gansler and colleagues sought to assess the Americans' understanding of cancer and its management. It had 957 American adults with no history of cancer as subjects. They were asked thru telephone survey whether 5 "cancer myth statements" were true or false.

The results?

Only ¼ of the subjects identified all the misconceptions as false.
41 percent said surgical treatments actually spread cancer in the body; another 13 percent were unsure.

27 percent said there is a cure for cancer available that's being held back by the health-care industry; another 14 per cent were uncertain about this.

19 percent mistakenly believed that pain medications are ineffective in treating cancer pain and 13 per cent said they didn't know.

On the positive side, 89 percent disagreed with the claim that "all you need to beat cancer is a positive attitude," and 87 percent disagreed with the statement that "cancer is something that cannot be effectively treated."

[Globe and Mail, Jun 27 2005]

This is stunning news. And I wonder if a similar study has been done here in the Philippines, and what the possible results are.

UN's Kofi Annan once said that "Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." I say this is true. Especially in health and disease understanding.

6 reactions:

thescrubsfamily said...

I wonder how random they did the survey...in the 957 patients questioned.
Want to know geographic location/age/education etc.
It is stunning news but...I am not convinced.

thescrubsfamily said...

Just read the article. I have a little of understanding of it. Anyway, we definitely ...need to increase cancer awareness everywhere in the world. Linked ya, if you don't mind.

rolly said...

How I wish they could found a treatment now for advanced cancer like they did with TB and other incurable diseases before. Cancer had been with us for quite a long time already. The sad thing is that we are getting more efficient with killing machines rather than finding cure to cancer and AIDS.

bayi said...

It is surprising that there are so many people out there who are still so ignorant about cancer. Though most of the time we don't know what causes cancer, we do know to some extent what we can do to reduce the chances of getting it. Of course, there are those with defective genes (when it is hereditary) that we can do nothing about. I just heard a story about a young man in his early thirties who died of lung cancer even though he did not drink or smoke and he kept a healthy lifestyle and ate at home most of the time.

thescrubsfamily said...

Hi Rolly, there are a lot of options out there...read Lance's Armstrong's story (first book). I think he had prostate cancer that metastasized not only to his abdomen and lungs but also to his brain. Not only that he survived cancer, he also won Tour de France 6 or 7 times! I am quoting him on one of his interviews that what helped him stay alive today...is his "good doctors" and "good medicine".

Dr. Emer said...

Kuiipo: Sorry to hear that you are not convinced. Feel free to link me, no need to ask. Thanks for bringing up the Lance Armstrong story. I read his book. Truly an inspiration.

Tito Rolly: Infectious diseases are easier to cure than Cancer. Cancer has a stubborn and different attitude as a disease, making it difficult to cure.

Bayi: Oh, there are a quite a number of people who are non-smokers but still die of lung cancer. Perhaps second-hand smoke is the culprit? Or maybe some environmental carcinogen? An important ingredient in the cancer battle is for people to become informed of the real nature of the disease.