February 4, 2013 is World Cancer Day. This global initiative by the Union for International Cancer Control aims to unite the world together in the fight against cancer by educating and raising awareness. VCU Massey Cancer Center is taking part in this initiative by debunking the following common cancer myths:
MYTH 1: Cancer is just a health issue.
Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development and human rights implications. For example, did you know that of all causes of death worldwide, cancer has the greatest economic impact? In 2008, the total cost of cancer globally reached $895 billion, which is nearly 20% higher than the leading cause of death, heart disease.
MYTH 2: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries.
Cancer is a global issue. It affects all ages and socio-economic groups, with developing countries bearing a bigger burden. The map shows a breakdown of incidence rates worldwide.
MYTH 3: Cancer is a death sentence.
Many cancers that were once considered fatal can now be cured, and for many more people, their cancer can be treated effectively.
Did you know that in the United States alone, there are 12 million Americans living with cancer today?
MYTH 4: Cancer is my fate.
With the right approaches, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. Prevention is the most cost-effective and sustainable way of reducing the global cancer burden in the long term.