World Cancer Day: Get the Facts, Dispel the Myths

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The SAMFund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer is helping this year’s World Cancer Day get the word out on dispelling the myths and misconceptions of cancer. They are:

Myth 1: Cancer is just a health issue.
Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications. Did you know that cancer costs the world’s economy more than any other disease?

Young adult survivors can attest to the devastating financial impact of cancer.  More than half a million cancer survivors between the ages of 20 to 39 live in the U.S., but a study in the journal Cancer (published online 09/24/12) found that they are more likely to go without care because of cost than peers who have not had cancer.

Myth 2: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries.
Truth: Cancer is a global epidemic. It affects all ages and socio-economic groups, with developing countries bearing a disproportionate burden.

Over 70,000 young Americans between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer each year, one about every eight minutes.

Myth 3: Cancer is a death sentence.
Truth: Many cancers that were once considered a death sentence can now be cured and for many more people, their cancer can be treated effectively.

Having cancer at a young age means more decades of living as a cancer survivor, which brings a unique set of financial, medical and psychosocial concerns.  However, we still need an improvement in long-term survival rates in adolescent and young adult patients.

Myth 4: Cancer is my fate.
Truth: With the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.

Programs such as  L.E.A.P. (Learning, Education, Awareness, Prevention) — funded through the Prevent Cancer Foundation are aimed at to increasing education and training for awareness and recognition of AYA cancers at both public and professional levels. Organizations such as 15-40 Connection are focused on promoting health awareness, self-advocacy and action to provide this age group with the life-saving advantage of early detection.  If you are a young adult survivor, make sure to check our resources page for more information.

What myths did you or people around you have about cancer?



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