Debunking Cancer Myths – #1 : Treatment Does More Harm Than Good

Over the last few decades, treatment for cancer has evolved significantly.  Advances in surgery, anesthesia, radiation therapy, and systemic therapy (chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy), have not only increased cure rates but also substantially reduced side effects.

Even then, compared to treatment for many other diseases, cancer care can be a long and difficult process. This is especially true when the cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, and the treatment is more aggressive than it would be for early-stage cancer.   Also, when a patient is diagnosed with end-stage cancer, survival rates are low, and treatment is directed more at palliation rather than cure.  This makes some people think that the cancer treatment did not work at all.  On the other hand, treatment of early-stage cancer is often simpler and has very high success rates for a cure.

Unfortunately, many people still erroneously believe that the treatment for cancer does more harm than good.

While it is easy to be critical of cancer treatment, the misery and suffering that one may have to undergo if cancer is left untreated are often overlooked. The suffering caused by untreated cancer can be several times worse than the temporary hardships caused by treatment for cancer.

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