You may or may not have known that April is Cancer Awareness Month. I have some very personal reasons for supporting this cause, so as the month draws to a close, I thought I would share those reasons with you now.
I used to work for the Canadian Cancer Society and was fortunate enough to have met some really amazing people while I worked there. I was able to learn so much about the many different types of cancer that exist (over 100!), programs available and research progress. I know longer work for the Cancer Society, but the work they do still touches my daily life.
I've had family members and friends that have experienced cancer diagnoses, but it was when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2011 that made me truly aware of how a cancer diagnosis affects a family. Losing my dad was difficult, and an experience that I have in common with many people. I believe that supporting the Canadian Cancer Society will ensure that people will survive cancer more often, and that those who experience a cancer diagnoses, and their families, will receive the information and support they need.
The Cancer Society provides the hospital with many information resources that were shared with my family and many others. They have a toll-free Cancer Information Service that you can call and have your questions answered, and through that same number, you can even be matched with a volunteer who has been through a similar experience to receive some emotional support.
I've heard many people say that they don't believe that Cancer research is resulting in any change in cancer, but it's easy to see that survival rates are changing in many different types of cancer, in particular the survival rates for breast cancer (86%) and prostate cancer (96%).*
In my own experience, there is a history of skin and colon cancer in my family, I've been getting screened for years and have even had some pre-cancerous growths removed. I also actively participate in cervical cancer screening. Without research, these cancer screening methods would not be as accurate as they are today.
Even with all of the progress we've made, we still have work to do. The survival rates for many different kinds of cancer are still low, and there is still research that can be done in to earlier detection and better treatments.
I continue to support the Canadian Cancer Society and their programs and services, information resources, advocacy efforts, and research, and I hope that you will join me in supporting this fantastic organization. Visit www.cancer.ca to see how you can get involved.
Interested in supporting me and my fundraising efforts? I am participating in this year's Relay for Life. You are welcome to pledge me at http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_NB_odd_?team_id=322372&pg=team&fr_id=17846
Or, have a look at our online auction that is running until May 2 at 9 PM Atlantic. Don't live in Saint John, New Brunswick? If there's something you're interested in, contact me and we can make arrangements to ship: http://relayforhope2015.eflea.ca/
Minimally, what I hope everyone takes home from reading this post is that there is progress being made, and there are even things we can do to reduce our own risk of cancer, visit www.cancer.ca to learn more, or call the Cancer Information Service and ask one of the Cancer Society's Information Specialists your questions at 1-888-939-3333.
*Source - Canadian Cancer Society. "Cancer Statistics at a Glance". http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-statistics-at-a-glance/?region=nb. 2015.