Facts & Myths about Childhood Cancer


Myth 1: Cancer is contagious and can spread like flu.

Fact 1: Cancer is not contagious.

Cancer cannot be spread from one child to another. We isolate children with cancer as their immunity is low and are vulnerable to infections.


Myth 2: Childhood cancers are inherited.

Fact 2: There is no known cause for most childhood cancers.

At least 95 % of the cancers in children occur spontaneously. Since the triggers of most childhood cancers are unknown, preventive measures are limited. Thus far, studies suggest that there is nothing a child or parent has done to induce cancer, and therefore, should avoid doing in order to prevent childhood cancer.


Myth 3: Childhood cancers are a death sentence.

Fact 3: Most childhood cancers are curable.

The average 3-year overall survival rate of children diagnosed with leukaemia is 89%. A successful cure depends on receiving the current-day standard therapy, a positive attitude and determination to overcome cancer.


Myth 4: Children with cancer lose all reasons for living.

Fact 4: Children with cancer can still lead a normal childhood.

Children with cancer can lead a normal childhood. Many children return to normal school life after treatment. In other cases, the children and their families adapt and modify their lifestyle to achieve normalcy. This becomes much easier with care, understanding and support from family, teachers, friends and other caregivers.


Myth 5: All tumours are cancerous.

Fact 5: Not all tumours are cancerous.

Tumours are either benign or malignant. Malignant tumours are cancerous cells that invade and spread to other parts of the body. In contrast, benign tumours invade tissues surrounding it and generally do not spread.