On February 4th the Empire State Building will light up blue and orange as advocates around the world share information and dispel myths about cancer. (American Cancer Society)

Setting the Record Straight: Four Myths on Global Cancer

Charlotte Hofer

American Cancer Society Celebrates World Cancer Day on February 4

Monday, February 4 is World Cancer Day, and the American Cancer Society is calling on people, organizations, and government agencies around the world to support the fight against cancer. More people die from cancer each year than from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Although 12.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year worldwide, there are common misconceptions that still exist about the disease:

Myth 1: Cancer is just a medical issue. 

Truth: Cancer is not just a medical issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications. In fact, the cost of cancer per year is $895 billion on the global economy, representing 1.5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product!

Myth 2: Cancer is a disease of 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.

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. With improvements in early detection and screening methods, more cancers are being caught earlier, in their more treatable stages. One of the ways the American Cancer Society is fighting back against cancer is by raising awareness for and improving access to screening opportunities.

Myth 4: Cancer is my fate. 

Truth: With the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented and another third caught early. You can dramatically reduce your odds of developing or dying from cancer by getting regular screenings and by leading a healthy lifestyle by focusing on exercise and good nutrition. 

By funding cancer research, supporting cancer patients, and raising cancer awareness, the American Cancer Society has made great strides in fighting cancer for 100 years and is renewing its commitment to creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Over the past 20 years, cancer death rates have decreased by 20 percent in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society’s newly released “Cancer Facts & Figures 2013.”

If you’re looking for ways to take a stand against the second leading cause of death in the United States (cancer is 2nd only to heart disease), the American Cancer Society makes it easy for people everywhere to join the fight:

1.     Volunteer with the American Cancer Society and have the opportunity to give rides to patients going through treatment with Road to Recovery or support a local Relay For Life event.

2.     Donate. The American Cancer Society is second only to the U.S. Government as an investor in cancer research and has supported finding better treatments, screenings and cures for 60 years. Donations help support research, patient services and raising awareness.

3.     Share vital information about cancer prevention, screenings and events in your area with coworkers, friends and family.

For the American Cancer Society’s recommendations on cancer prevention, information on patient services, and to join the fight against global cancer, visit the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org . Find ACS on Twitter for updates every day: @AmericanCancer and @ACS_SouthDakota.  

*Statistics from ACS Global Cancer Facts & Figures

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Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
My daughter first a got brain tumor when she was 12. We did not know until it was too late. She suffered for almost 4 years, and died in my arms when I was carrying her in the house from her last trip from the hospital. For years we would take her to the doctors because of her head aches, and they said she was having migraines...none every gave her a cat scan. Than one day she could no longer see, and walked into the wall. We took her to the eye doctor and he said she need to have a cat scan. By than it had progressed. It was slow growing. Please....please please...if your child has a lot of head aches....PLEASE HAVE A CAT SCAN.