According to published reports there are almost 500 events planned for “World Cancer Day” February 4th.
It’s a day where certain drug companies, health institutions and various cancer organizations have teamed together to make a day of cancer awareness.
Any “day” that does that is just fine in my book.
Since 1973, when President Richard Nixon declared a “war on cancer” and signed The National Cancer Act to find a cure, the dark veil over the disease, has slowly been lifted. There was a time when no one even used the word cancer. If a friend or relative was found to have cancer, the condition was discussed in whispers. Obituaries wouldn’t mention the cause of death as cancer, instead, he or she died “after a long illness.”
Treatment was a joke. Chemotherapy was a poison cocktail with no real direction. The cancer may have been defined, but the chemo was not. Patients were given radiation, but with no real target to the cancer, so other organs were damaged, not to mention tissue around the disease.
Today, there are targeted therapies. Depending on the type of cancer, chemotherapy is specific. Certain cancers can be cured. Surgeries are much more precise and there are real vaccines being developed and medical trials mean something.
Treatment isn’t just pointed at the tumors anymore either. The ‘whole’ patient is treated now along with the care giver too.
Cancer is a hot topic. No one should be afraid to speak the word or reach out for cancer care.
We can all do our share to make other’s aware of symptoms and signs.
We can all do something about this beast. It’s touched us all.