Myths and stigmas around childhood cancer can create a culture of silence that is not good for promoting diagnosis and accessing treatment. CHOC aims to continue to expand its reach into far-flung regions of the country, whilst growing the education campaign.

Here are some myths and stigmas around childhood cancer:

Myths and Stigmas

  • Cancer is contagious.
  • You can get cancer by playing or touching a cancer patient.
  • Children cannot get cancer.
  • Children do not get cancer because of their race and gender.
  • Childhood cancer is the fault of the child or parents.
  • There is no need for the elders to talk about cancer in the family.
  • Decisions of transfusions or amputations should only
    be taken by the elders.
  • There are no signs and symptoms with childhood cancer.
  • Children do not survive cancer.
  • There is nothing that can be done once a child is diagnosed.
  • Certain families do not have the right to health care.

Reality

  • Cancer is NOT contagious.
  • You cannot get cancer by playing or touching a cancer patient.
  • Children can get cancer.
  • Children can be diagnosed with cancer, irrespective of race or gender.
  • Childhood cancer is a blood disorder and no one is at fault for this illness.
  • There is a need for the elders to talk about cancer in the family.
  • Decisions of transfusions or amputations should be taken in consultation with elders in the best interest of the child’s survival.
  • There are early warning signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.
  • Children can survive cancer if diagnosed early.
  • Early diagnosis is the key to survival.
  • All have a right to health care.