Myths About the Side Effects of Mesothelioma and Its Treatment
Among cancers, mesothelioma is rather rare. And, as a result, facts about the disease are harder to find. Without researched information, myths about the side effects of mesothelioma and its treatment grow and spread (like cancer).
Sometimes, general cancer myths change how patients or their families think about treatment. For example, some wellness blogs claim that eating sugar makes cancers worse. While cancer cells use more glucose (i.e., sugar) for energy, no studies show that cutting sugar from your diet will make tumors shrink or die.
Keep reading for more misunderstandings and myths about mesothelioma.
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Misunderstanding Mesothelioma – Three Myths
Myths about the first signs of cancer come from online posts and word-of-mouth gossip. Below are a few facts about mesothelioma and its side effects.
- Myth: The long latency period of mesothelioma means it takes a long time for tumors to grow and cause symptoms.
- Facts: The “latency period of mesothelioma” refers to the long period of time between asbestos exposure and the development of malignant cancers. In reality, mesothelioma tumors grow rapidly and will cause symptoms in a few years.
- Myth: I was never exposed to asbestos, so I can’t have mesothelioma.
- Facts: Because of the widespread, international use of asbestos and its natural occurrence in the environment, everyone is exposed to asbestos (knowingly or without knowing) at some point in their life. Most exposure is not enough to cause cancer. However, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can typically help clients uncover the source of their asbestos-caused disease. Attorneys have databases of pictures of contaminated products, buildings, and workplaces.
- Myth: It’s easier to not know if you have cancer.
- Facts: You should never ignore signs of cancer. Mesotheliomas may lead to abdominal swelling, fevers, trouble breathing or swallowing, and other symptoms. Without treatment, symptoms often become debilitating.
Myths About Treatment Side Effects – Three Myths
The following myths about the side effects of treatment are followed by the facts about anti-cancer therapies today.
- Myth: Surgery or a tumor biopsy can cause cancer to spread.
- Facts: Oncology surgeons go through extensive training before they handle cancerous tissues without infecting other parts of the body. Standard procedures and medical practices (such as using different tools when they move to another part of the body) prevent cross-contamination.
- Myth: Mesothelioma treatment is usually harsher than the symptoms.
- Facts: Side effects of treatments like chemotherapy may be uncomfortable. However, there have been many advances in chemo as well as medicine to manage side effects. Today, your quality of life is an important aspect to consider when prescribing treatment. Moreover, the side effects of mesothelioma often lead to partial or total disability.
- Myth: If I don’t get all of the tests and treatments available, I’m not getting the best care for my mesothelioma.
- Facts: All cancers are different and require different treatments. Your cancer care team will know the best therapies to offer depending on your cancer’s cell types, your stage of cancer, and your overall health. Yet, if you have serious doubts, you may seek a second opinion.