Cancer Issues
Cancer and Chemotherapy: Is What You Know a Myth or a Fact?
Nov 6, 2012 - 9:58:15 AM

( - Every year, approximately 650,000 people in the United States undergo chemotherapy.i Although everyone reacts differently, people can sometimes feel confused, anxious and overwhelmed. Many people also have preconceived notions about cancer and its treatment that sometimes aren’t true.

A new campaign called Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts™ aims to debunk common misconceptions associated with chemotherapy and encourages patients and caregivers to take charge of their cancer journey by speaking openly with their doctors. The campaign features Emmy®-nominated actress Maura Tierney and professional drag racer Jack Beckman, who are sharing their own experiences as cancer survivors to help others.

“When I was going through my cancer treatment, I learned that you can never ask a stupid question. I asked every single question that came to my mind, and I believe that helped to calm my own anxiety,” said Tierney. “The Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts campaign encourages patients and caregivers to ask a lot of questions, arming themselves with as much information as possible to take charge of their journey.”

One of the things Beckman realized during his cancer journey was the importance of surrounding himself with people and things that he loved. “When I first learned I had cancer and would need chemotherapy, I was afraid I would have to give up certain aspects of my life, including racing and teaching others to race,” he said. “This didn’t end up being the case for me. Speaking to my doctor and learning how to make adjustments to my regular routine while receiving chemotherapy helped make sure I didn’t have to put my life on hold.”

As part of the campaign, an interactive video booth is traveling across the country collecting personal stories from cancer patients and caregivers about chemotherapy myths or facts they uncovered during their own journey. Several of these stories will eventually be shared on the campaign’s website with the hope of helping others. For more information about the campaign, visit Chemotherapy: Myths or Facts is sponsored by biotechnology company Amgen.

There are many myths associated with chemotherapy and it’s important for those undergoing chemotherapy to arm themselves with the facts. For example, some patients believe they have to give up certain aspects of their life while undergoing treatment, such as:ii

• Spending time with loved ones

• Playing with their pets

• Eating fruits or raw vegetables

• Undertaking normal activities

While these may be true for some patients with certain kinds of cancer, it’s not true for everyone. In fact, several of these activities may actually help a patient’s overall well-being. As chemotherapy impacts everyone differently, it’s important for patients to speak openly with their doctor to fully understand their treatment and how it might impact them.iiiVisit for more information.

i Kantar Health Cancer Impact. Drug Treated Patients.

ii National Cancer Institute. Chemotherapy and You. Accessed 9 May 2012: 12,23,27,31.

iii National Cancer Institute. Chemotherapy and You. Accessed 9 May 2012:14.


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