PHILADELPHIA—Calling the contraction of the disease “not good,” and saying that not having the illness is highly preferable to having it, oncologists representing the American Association for Cancer Research urged the U.S. populace Monday not to get cancer.

The panel, which consisted of medical experts at the top of their respective fields in cancer research, education, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, addressed the media for 45 minutes, saying that people’s best hope in terms of living a long, cancer-free life is to never develop cancerous cells in any part of the body, ever.

“After years of closely studying this illness and learning about how it grows and arbitrarily attacks vital organs throughout the body at an uncontrollable rate until one eventually dies, we have concluded that not having cancer is the best way to go,” said Dr. Robert Bertino, who specializes in molecular biology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “If you are going to contract a harmful illness, get diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, meningitis, or even Type 2 diabetes. Anything but cancer. Cancer is just the worst.”

“A lot of people die from it,” he added. “It’s bad.”

According to specialists, people should not contract colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, stage IV lung cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or any one of the roughly 200 other known forms of cancer. In addition, researchers confirmed that if it comes down to having terminal vs. non-terminal cancer, both are undesirable, but non-terminal is recommended.

However, oncologists said that even less threatening forms of the illness, such as non-melanoma skin cancer, should be steered clear of, with Bertino explaining that, “You have the surgery, you think it’s gone, it comes back for some reason, God knows why, and then it spreads to your lymph nodes, and that’s that.”

AACR officials went on to recommend that individuals should avoid having a family history of cancer, and that if people must grow tumors, they should make sure to only develop benign ones.

“When a patient comes in to visit me because they have malignant tissue in their breast or under their arm, the first thing I say is, ‘It would be much better if this hadn’t happened,’” said Dr. Sydney Drysdale, head of oncology at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. “I tell them I have studied this illness for decades, I’m the foremost expert when it comes to the spread of cancer, and then I look them in the eye and say cancer is literally the last thing I’d want in my body. I tell them it’s not a death sentence, but that it certainly could be. It’s cancer. You shouldn’t get it.”

“Sometimes patients will ask about clinical trials and I’ll say clinical trials wouldn’t even be an issue if you hadn’t gotten cancer in the first place,” Drysdale continued. “My best advice: Don’t have abnormal cells that uncontrollably divide and invade other tissues.”

Top cancer researchers throughout the country urged individuals to think of the benefits of not having cancer, such as being alive for a much longer period of time, feeling healthy, not putting your family through what will easily be the most difficult period of their entire lives, never feeling like you’re at the mercy of near impossible and hopeless science, and being able to die of natural causes and not cancer.

Moreover, while 10 out of 10 oncologists recommended never having cancer, 100 percent of people who do not currently have cancer reportedly said they are much happier because of it.

“If I could do it all over again, I would not have gotten cancer,” said 46-year-old Kevin Glanville, who is currently battling chronic myeloid leukemia. “Getting chemotherapy two times per week and constantly feeling weak and nauseous when there is a good chance the treatment won’t even work is much less attractive to me than, say, not dealing with those circumstances.”

“My doctor contacted some colleagues of his who work in the cancer research lab at the Mayo Clinic,” he continued, “and they said that, for the foreseeable future, if there is any way I cannot have cancer anymore I should do that.”