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World Cancer Day Meant To Debunk Cancer Myths

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s World Cancer Day today. It’s a day to debunk the four biggest myths about cancer.  Those myths are:  We don’t need to talk about cancer, there are no signs or symptoms, there’s nothing I can do about cancer and I don’t have the right to cancer care.

Dr. Loren Hayes knows all about those myths.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor,” Hayes says. “I was diagnosed in July of 2012 and here I am in 2014 doing great.”

Loren’s life changed forever when she was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump on her breast. “What I thought was just a cyst was a cyst,” she said, “but unfortunately I had three additional tumors in my breast.”

Loren’s a doctor of nursing practice, but while going through treatment, she was a patient like anyone else…scared yet filled with hope that she could not only beat cancer but regain the life she had before. And she has won – now she helps others.

“So you’re going to be fine!” she tells people.  “You’re going to do well!  Look at me.  I’m doing great.  I’m working, I’m happily married and things are going great for me.”

On this World Cancer Day people like Loren and oncologists want to debunk the myths about cancer.

Dr. Luis Raez is the medical director of the Memorial Cancer Institute.  His message is that early detection is key to treating, controlling and curing cancer. “If we catch the cancer early,” he says,  “we can do something, we can even cure it.”

With all the new advances in treatment, a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death.  Dr. Raez says many forms of cancer are curable.  “Curable does not mean we prolong your life for two to three years.  Curable means that we will treat you with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy and you will be cancer free,” said Dr. Raez.

And on this World Cancer Day we also hold out hope for little girls like Briana Vega.  She’s been fighting an aggressive form of leukemia.  Her fight has become a community battle, with people from every corner of South Florida getting tested to see if they are a bone marrow match.  The hope is that one day, she too, will be cancer free like Loren.

“Now I live each day and I’m grateful every single day.” said Loren.

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