This year, World Cancer Day falls on February the 4th. And the focus this time round will be on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline “Debunk the myths”.
Ahead of that day, Chinese health experts and doctors have come together in Tianjin to inform the public about the truth of cancer. Our reporter Su Yuting went to the Tianjin Cancer Hospital to see what misunderstandings about cancer are most common among Chinese patients and ask experts how these can be solved.
Here at the Tianjin Cancer Hospital, patients are suffering hardships and battling to survive.
Sun Wenjian is one of them. He has pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis that has a very low survival rate.
He says, that for many, cancer is still a scary word.
Sun said,”It makes people frightened when they talk about cancer. When I learnt that I had the disease, my mind went totally blank and I almost collapsed. There is a widespread belief in China that cancer is a death sentence and cannot be cured.”
There are few illnesses that have left such a deep scar on the public psyche than cancer. Despite having been one of the leading causes of death across the globe for decades, there are still many misconceptions about the disease. It’s increasingly necessary to dispel those misconceptions to avoid tragic problems in the future.
In actual fact, a third of the most commonly occurring cancers can be prevented with the right treatment.
Ahead of this year’s World Cancer Day, leading experts are taking urgent action.
They have held cancer themed activities and joined hands to help debunk the damaging myths surrounding cancer. They are also providing free consultations to explain the truth to the public.
“They don’t want to talk openly about the disease. If they have cancer, they get silent. They close their doors and stay at home. They are reluctant to go hospital to see doctors. That negative understanding will influence the result as early detection will make it treatable, but doctors can hardly help them if it’s too late,” Hao Xishan, Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, said.
With advances in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, people have more opportunities to learn the facts about this disease. And, a positively informed attitude goes a long way in battling cancer.