According to the American Cancer Society, hundreds of thousands of new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2020 alone. Lung cancer is perhaps one of the more commonly recognized forms of cancer, which also means this is a type of cancer that is associated with quite a few myths. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, it is best to get the facts. Here is a look at just a few of the many myths associated with lung cancer and the facts that you should know.
Myth: All forms of lung cancer treatment involve chemotherapy.
Not every type of lung cancer is treated with chemotherapy. Each type of cancer is different, so each type of treatment plan must be custom created to have the best chance of being effective. Many patients with a lung cancer diagnosis will undergo chemo, but many will also be recommended to try radiation or surgery to remove the cancerous tissue from their lungs. It is always best to trust your oncologist to help you make the most comprehensive treatment plan. Don’t assume that chemotherapy treatment is definitive unless your doctor advises that this would be the best plan of action.
Myth: Treatment for lung cancer is rarely effective.
Treatment for lung cancer can be effective, but every individual patient’s circumstances and the outcome can vary. The NHS states that about 1 in 10 people who are diagnosed and treated for lung cancer will live beyond 10 years. Of course, when the cancer is diagnosed, the type of cancer, and the severity of the condition can always affect the effectiveness of treatment. For example, someone with small cell lung cancer may not see the same outcome as someone with mesothelioma after treatment. Likewise, some forms of treatment can be more effective than others.
Myth: Most people who undergo lung cancer treatment experience drastic changes in quality of life.
Lung cancer treatment is something that comes along with a lot of disheartening imagery partially due to the media and how the condition is portrayed in society. Some people do have a difficult time with chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy because the side effects can be intense. However, not everyone reacts the same to treatments. For instance, an individual undergoing radiation may experience nausea and lack of appetite, but some people may have minimal nausea and loss of appetite.
Myth: You can’t get treatment for lung cancer when in later stages.
It is true that lung cancer can be harder to treat via conventional methods if the cancer is in a later stage when it is discovered. However, many oncologists do offer some form of treatment unless there is no chance that the treatment will help. For example, if you are found to have a form of late-stage mesothelioma, your doctor may still examine treatment options that may slow the progression of the disease according to the Mesothelioma Cancer Network.