What’s truth and what’s fiction when it comes to cancer?

04 February 2014

Halifax -

Today is World Cancer Day and the Canadian Cancer Society wants to help raise awareness and debunk the myths that surround this terrible disease. 

Myth 1: We don't need to talk about cancer

A cancer diagnosis can make you feel alone. It can be difficult to understand and raise many questions and concerns. Your world gets turned upside down. We know that it can be helpful to talk to someone you can trust to give you current, reliable information, and that talking to others who’ve gone through a similar experience can be comforting. If you have questions about cancer or would like to be connected with someone who has had a similar cancer experience call the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-888-939-3333.

Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer

There are more than 200 types of cancers, and they all exhibit different signs and symptoms at different stages. A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms or have a family-history of cancer it is important to consult with a doctor. Check out how you can find cancer early.

Fact: 2 in 5 Canadians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime

Every hour of every day, an average of 21 people in Canada are diagnosed with some type of cancer, and nine people will die from the disease. But there is hope! There have been major advances in research, treatments are getting better and more people are surviving. In fact, today, over 60% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive at least 5 years after their diagnosis. In the 1940s, survival was about 25%. Help reduce your risk of being diagnosed with cancer by eating well, being active, getting screened and choosing to quit smoking.

Learn the truth about other cancer myths and controversies.

For more information visit cancer.ca or call our Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-888-939-3333.