beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

To find a doctor, call 800-667-5356 or click below:

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

left banner
right banner
Smaller Larger

Myths About Cancer Spread

Posted 11/6/2013

Posted in

  Depending on your perspective, this is either the good news or the bad news. No one really knows or understands why cancer spreads, what makes some tumors metastisize from the original site. We know that we endure surgery and often radiation and chemotherapy and hormonal therapy to minimize the chances of this happening. And we know that no one gets a guarantee.

  There are a number of persistent rumors or myths about what causes cancer spread, and it is helpful to be reminded that there are untrue. Believing this kind of nonsense just makes you worry more. Let me reinterate my favorite: being angry or sad or scared or negative or stressed does not make cancer grow or spread.

  There are a number of other myths, none, in my opinion, as powerful or pervasive as the above. Here is a good article from Methodist Hospital in Houston about them. I give you the start and a link. Please take a few minutes to read this and feel, I hope, reassured.

 Debunking Myths About How Cancer Spreads

Newswise — Experts from the Houston Methodist
Cancer Center address some of the common
misconceptions about how cancer spreads.
Can getting a biopsy spread cancer?
Internet rumors have been circulating for years linking needle biopsies to spreading cancer. There is no
evidence that a needle biopsy, a procedure used to diagnose many types of cancer, causes the cells to
“Needle biopsies of early-onset lesions in the breast, thyroid or lung allow us to diagnose cancer often
before it has spread,” said Dr. Eric Bernicker, medical oncologist at Houston Methodist Cancer Center.
“A needle biopsy can help your physician determine whether you have a malignancy and, if so, the best
course of treatment.”
Most surgeons are able to safely remove a small part of the tumor by using a small needle. Exceptions
would be for tumors located in the eyes or in the testicles, where physicians require blood tests, imaging
techniques or the removal of the entire tumor.
If cancer recurs after a biopsy, Bernicker says the underlying biology of the tumor cells is typically the


Add your comment