Movies and TV often give people the wrong perception of cancer. A lot of the time, the entertainment industry will opt for more drama than encompassing the reality of living with this disease. Because of this, no one really knows what going through cancer is really like. In an article posted by Vice, many cancer patients and survivors expressed how wrong the movies and TV shows get it wrong. Often times the cancer battle you see on the big screen is nothing like what people diagnosed have actually gone through.

Sometimes our perception of cancer is all too dramatic.Over-the-top drama and emotionally tolling potlines is what sells a movie and what the audiences look for. Although cancer is a serious disease, television portrays the disease as a sudden death sentence. This isn’t always the case. There are some diagnosed patients that continue living their best life even while going through treatments. Often time actors play these roles of weak and wilted characters that can barely leave there bed in the morning. This portrayal isn’t true for some people with cancer who feel well enough or strong enough to continue on with their lives as normally and joyfully as they can.

Often on TV and in movies, the doctor discusses chemotherapy options as soon as they deliver the news of cancer. In some cases, chemo isn’t even needed. People diagnosed with cancer can still live normal, effervescent lives that doesn’t involve numerous rounds of chemo. There are many different types of cancer that requires many different types of treatment. But because of the movie and TV shows, a lot of people think otherwise. In reality, there are good days and bad day with treatment. On the bad days it can be like in the movies when the patient is sick in bed. But there are the good days–the days that even people living with cancer can live to the fullest.

Being portrayed as a death sentenced, the entertainment industry shows cancer patients as weak and brittle. Contrary to popular belief, cancer patients aren’t constantly crying or succumbing to the pain of the disease. Cancer patients don’t always look sick, even when chemo causes them to lose their hair. Being diagnosed with cancer doesn’t always mean shallow, sunken eyes or bad skin. Some people go years living with cancer and their appearance doesn’t change.

Movies also show cancer patients becoming survivors immediately after treatment or surgery, but being a survivor takes years. Recovery does not begin right after beating cancer. There still health issues that follow. The side effects from chemo can take its toll on patients, even after they’ve beaten cancer. Unlike what movies and television shows like you to think, being a cancer survivor doesn’t mean everything goes back to normal. It can take years for a patient to feel healthy again.

There are times the entertainment industry does a good job of showing the struggles and emotions of battling cancer. Although movies can often shed light on this life-altering experience, they can often get it wrong. This kind of portrayal can give a lot of people the wrong perception of cancer. Those living with the disease want audiences to know the reality. If the reality of cancer was known, there could be a better understanding and a stronger support system for people battling the disease.