Written by Mariem ELTagoury
Between the black and white profile pictures to the bra colour status to on ground campaigns like write a message on the board to someone you know who died of cancer, I’m at a loss at how people can use our emotional turmoil for the word “awareness campaigns” so loosely.
These campaigns don’t help awareness in any way; they don’t fund research to discover new medications that many cancer patients desperately need, they don’t relieve a cancer patient’s pain, they don’t spare their family the horror of watching their loved one slowly sink deeper into one unimaginable torment after the next, they don’t pay the endless bills, they don’t fix the scars in our hearts and lives, they don’t give us back the lives we’ve lost.They’re just there on our newsfeed, mocking our sorrows and turning them into something trivial like some kind of game.
Today, allow me to debunk your pink ribbon gardens & viral, fun social media awareness, by telling you some blunt REAL facts about CANCER, that big word you use so loosely. So, internet, you want awareness? Coming right up! Warning – read on with caution, optimism might be affected.
6. There Is No Magic Cure Online or Hidden in Any Big Pharmaceutical Company
Wikipedia actually has this list of bogus treatments people find on the internet. If you’re a conspiracy theory enthusiast, guess what? We are all prone to have cancer, even doctors and pharmacists! So it’s in everyone’s good favour that we have a cure. Now refer back to the first point again for why there cannot be a magic pill.
7. We Can’t Just Starve Cancer
So if it’s alive and growing why don’t we cut out its resources? Great strategy applied and followed by some researchers. However, tumour cells feed on sugar, or glucose to be precise; which is understandable since tumour cells are just human cells acting like outlaws in society, wreaking havoc and crime.
So to cut out all sources of glucose from a diet, one would eventually have to cut out carbohydrates [bread, pasta, rice, etc..]. For some, the no-glucose diet works but for others it’s catastrophic. The body loses the weight and energy it needs to fight the disease, further weakening the body which already loses lots of weight due to the disease and treatment. From personal experience, this is a method for few but definitely not everybody.
8. There Is No Such Thing as FOOD Fighting Against Cancer
Healthy diet is a good thing, but those fun facts you find on the internet are just used to increase marketing. Blueberries, bananas, green tea, are all great to maintain a healthy diet; but they’re not going to fight cancer. We all wish it could have been that simple.
9. Cancer Is as Old as Time
There’s always someone grumbling about “these weird diseases that started showing up in these cursed modern days, things we’ve never heard of before”. The clue is in never heard of before. Cancer has been around since the dawn of age. This ancient Egyptian had it 3000 years ago.
It was just not identified and we didn’t have modern screening and diagnosis methods to figure it out. Smoking and junk food might be increasing risks, but there’s no saying it’s new. It just didn’t have a name back then. That being said, humanity has found was to defeat small pox, tetanus, polio, even the black plague, but not good ol’ cancer. After all, it originates from our very own cells.
10. Doctors Are Not Saviours… Nurses Are Not Angels
Throughout our battles with cancer, I’ve come across so many specimens of human. There’s the good, the bad, the robot, the heartless, the dumb, the heartfelt, the professional, the one’s keeping their distance for good measure, the annoying, the cheap… In short, they’re different versions of human.
Regardless of the characteristics, I’ve come to an understanding that doctors and nurses [and I’ve seen them both in Europe and Egypt], can only do so much. There’s a big factor of chance/luck/miracle, whatever you name it, involved. There shall be moments when they’ll know better, there’ll be moments when you know better, and there’ll be moments when both of you shall stand helpless in the face of fate.
Which cancer myths have you come by? Which piece of information was new to you? Let’s discuss in the comments.