“Cancer-versaries” are popping up all over…what are they? Well, they are gatherings hosted by cancer survivors who have made it to their fifth year of being cancer free and want to share the good news with friends and family. It’s a cute label for a very important milestone in cancer world. One survivor asked that instead of gifts, guests bring hard candies instead. She packaged up the candy and took it to her chemo center for the patients who were still going through treatment. Hard candy works in mysterious ways when it comes to chemo;warding off nausea, settling the stomach and it just tastes better than some of the kick-back from chemo.
The lady I met in the Hopkins elevator the other was so happy she was three months clean, can you imagine what she’ll be like at five years? Now that will be a party!!
The American Cancer Society came forth with some positive news the other day. Cancer death rates have fallen by 20% over calculations of the last 20 years. They figure cancer cases peaked from 1991 to 2009 and these numbers come from the four major cancer sites, breast, prostate, colorectum and lung. Breaking it down even further, it’s reported that death rates dropped 30% for colorectum cancer, breast in women and lung cancer in men. The numbers jump to 40% for prostate cancer.
Good news always has a flip side, especially in cancer world. The report goes on to say, one in four deaths in this country is due to cancer. Pancreatic cancer, liver and thyroid cancers are on the rise.
So, as we say here so many times, we take the good news and celebrate it….At the same time, we remind the folks in those white coats in the lab to keep burning that midnight oil.