Helping Children
Cancer & its Myths

Cancer and its Myths


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif The term "cancer" is a historical name given by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. The Greek term employed by Hippocrates was actually used to describe a crab, which he thought a tumor resembled. 


bul3 At the end of the 19th century, different types of cancer were already known, and in some cases, could even be cured. 


bul3 Over the last generation, there have been tremendous strides in research and major discoveries have been made, leading to the emergence of a new field of study - oncology.


bul3 Many names were given to cancer: cancer, malignant disease, tumor disease. This plurality of names arose in view of the fact that cancer is perceived as a tough, incurable illness. But in fact, today's modern medicine is capable of overcoming the disease in many cases, making it definitely curable, particularly in childhood.


bul3 "Cancer" is the term used to describe a group of diseases all charcaterized by the development of a tumor, which is caused by uncontrolled proliferation of a single cell or a small number of cells.  The different types of cancers are classified by the type of cell that is initially affected, where the process of unrestrained and uncontrolled growth of cells originated.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif The two main characteristics of cancerous cells:


bul3 Interminable and uncontrolled proliferation.

bul3 Tumor cells migrate from their site of origin, travel through the blood and lymphatic system, and colonize a distant site, where they begin to divide and grow again, eventually forming new secondary tumors, called metastases.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif In most cases, the reason why a healthy cell becomes a cancerous cell is still unknown. In the remaining cases, the reason may be:


bul3 Hereditary influences (rare).

bul3 Viral causes.

bul3 Environmental factors.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif There are numerous myths surrounding cancer which originated in the days when medical knowledge was scarce. The Following is a list of erroneous beliefs, all of which are false:


bul3 Cancer is a disease that everyone dies from - false!

bul3 Cancer is incurable - false!

bul3 Cancer is a contagious disease - false!

bul3 Cancer is an untreatable disease - false!

bul3 The child patient should not be informed of his disease - false!

bul3 Children with cancer remain bald - false! They are bald for a brief period following chemotherapy.  With radiation therapy, it depends on the dosage of radiation, and only when the radiation is aimed at the head.

bul3 The entire family should be kept in the dark about the disease - false!

bul3 Children who have cancer are isolated from their peers - false! The disease has nothing to do with social isolation, aside from certain stages of treatment that require temporary isolation.  It is very important for the child to maintain a social life.

bul3 Kids at school shouldn't know about the disease - false! It's impossible and definitely not a desirable situation!

bul3 Children with cancer cannot maintain scholastic achievement - not necessarily. The child's achievements depend on their capacity, efforts, and thr encouragement that they receive during treatment.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Nowadays, cure rates have improved considerably resulting in a significant increase in the chances of recovery!