Cinematic Cancer Examined
Not all people have access to information on different scientific advances or the background to be able to seek out the information either. Instead they receive information from different kinds of media, including movies, which researchers at the European Society for Medical Oncology decided to study. Cancer has played a part in movies for a long time now, but the researchers wanted to see if the evolution of the on-screen science followed that of the actual science.
The short answer is no. Cinematic cancer is often not representative of reality by failing to show the improvements in treatments. Of course, for many of the movie plots, a character dying of cancer is some motivating factor, so one cannot expect the mortality rates to improve in fiction, simply because they actually do. However, the representation of the kinds of cancer was also lacking. When it was possible to identify the disease, the researchers found it was often something exotic, such as brain cancer or leukemia, instead of a much more cancer and still deadly breast cancer.
Though movies may not portray medical facts well, the researchers do acknowledge the value of the imperfect information. This can allow the people to become more aware of the effects cancer can have on some, and it also can put a new light on problems oncologists are already having to deal with.