The prompt I’m answering today is: What is a cause you’re passionate about and why? If you haven’t figured it out from my title, I’ll simply state that one of the causes I am passionate about is Cancer. This being World Cancer Awareness Month I believe it is appropriate for me to discuss it now. World Cancer Day was February 4th.
Most of us have heard about or been affected by Cancer, either personally or known a friend or family member that has or is affected by the disease. What is cancer? According to cancer.gov, Cancer is a disease caused when cells divide uncontrollably and spread into surrounding tissues. It is caused by changes to DNA. Most of the changes occur in sections of DNA known as genes are referred to as genetic changes.
There are many different types of cancers which effect various organs of the body. The type of cancer that is discuss and commercialized the most is Breast cancer. However, there are quite a number of other types of cancers ranging from prostate cancer to bone cancer, to liver cancer, and the list could go on and on. Cancer affects people of all ages and races worldwide.
Cancer is a deadly disease. Research continues throughout the world and yet it still exists with no end in sight of it ever going away. I wish all cancers could be cured. That would be miraculous. The deadliest types of cancers are Lung, colorectal, breast, pancreatic, and prostate. For survival, early diagnosis is best. Some of the risk factors you can control and some you cannot. The risk factors that you cannot control are family history and genetics. Risk factors that you can manage are environmental and behavioral triggers.
Enough about what cancer is and what factors influence whether you are likely to develop cancer. Instead, let’s talk about what cancer patients want and need as they progress through their journey. Does everyone with cancer have the same needs or desires? Usually, their main concern is not the cancer itself. It is more about how their cancer will impact their ability to maintain a job, will they still be able to pay their bills. When considering treatment options, they worry about what possible side effects they could develop. Cancer patients care needs to address their psychosocial needs, which include emotional and practical concerns. Some of those concerns involve financial assistance, transportation obstacles, and anxiety issues. Concerns can be as diverse as racial and ethnicity. We all desire to be of one race, but in actuality, we are all different and are needs and concerns are not all the same. Other concerns are about how their diagnosis of cancer will affect their families. Will it put a hardship on their finances? Will their lives be emotionally uprooted? Cancer does not just affect the patient alone. It affects their whole family.
Family members can be extremely supportive, but they can also feel worried, angry, or even afraid. Daily routines will change and the whole family will be impacted by them. Whether a family member needs to take time off work to drive you to work, or perhaps another member needs to take over or help with cooking or other chores that become difficult for you to do. The cost of cancer treatments can put a strain on the family. If the cancer patient cannot work, other members of the family may need to pick up the slack. When others have to take over some of the items that you normally took care of it might make you feel less independent and cause you to have stress or anxiety.
Friends and other family members may desire to help. Allow them to assist you in some way. It might be difficult for you to do, but it will allow them to feel better. They truly want to be supportive in tangible ways. Let them know that you can still do things for yourself but appreciate some assistance and their prayers. Remember, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It takes a lot of strength and courage to admit and accept help.
Why I am passionate about cancer awareness? Even though I have not developed the disease personally. I have been affected by it. I have last family members and friends to cancer. I lost both of my parents to cancer, as well as other family members. I have lost close friends and neighbors to cancer. The genetic risks exist for me. I have no idea if someday I might develop some form of cancer or not. However, having both parents die from cancer, it is a possibility. So yes, I think cancer sucks.
God bless. Pray for those around you affected by cancer. Be a friend. Offer a ride, a meal, or just be there for them. Hope that one day a cure will be found for all cancers.
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