Let’s talk about the “C” word

I’m talking about Cancer not that well known expletive!  Upfront I will say a few things:

  1. If you have a positive frame of mind ( Be strong – stay positive!) you will have a more positive outcome – THAT’S A FACT!
  2. Lance Armstrong was a druggie – BUT he’s done so much to improve the lot for cancer sufferers so don’t diss him too much.
  3. Will I get cancer?  It’s a significant statistical possibility.
  4. Life is too short – so get on with it – enjoy yourself.

OK – let’s get this out of the way – cancer is all around you look at the stats from Cancer Research UK– let’s start with breast cancer – which my wife (in her 50’s) suffers from:

  • In 2010, 49,564 women and 397 men in the UK were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
  • In 2010 there were 11,633 deaths from invasive breast cancer in the UK.
  • In 2005-2009, 85% of women in England survived their invasive breast cancer for five years or more.
  • In 2010, 5,765 women and 26 men in the UK were diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer.

Then there’s thyroid cancer which a friend (in his 30’s) in our village is fighting:

  • In 2010, 2,654 people in the UK were diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
  • In 2010 there were 346 deaths from thyroid cancer in the UK.
  • In 1996-1999, 74% of men and 79% of women in England survived their thyroid cancer for five years or more.

Then there’s oral cancer which a relative of one of my work colleagues suffers from:

  • In 2009, there were 6,236 new cases of oral cancer in the UK

Then there’s prostate cancer which a friend (in his 60’s) of ours in a nearby village is fighting:

  • In 2010, 40,975 men in the UK were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • In 2010 there were 10,721 deaths from prostate cancer in the UK.
  • In 2005-2009, 81% of men in England survived their prostate cancer for five years or more.

Then there’s uterine cancer which my mother had:

  • In 2010, 8,288 women in the UK were diagnosed with uterine cancer.
  • In 2010 there were 1,937 deaths from uterine cancer in the UK.
  • In 2005-2009, 77% of women in England survived their uterine cancer for five years or more.

Then there’s brain cancer which a friend has recently had diagnosed:

  • In 2010, 9,100 people in the UK were diagnosed with brain and other CNS tumours. Of which 4,917 were diagnosed as invasive brain and other CNS tumours, and 4,183 were diagnosed as non-invasive brain and other CNS tumours.
  • In 2010 there were 4,884 deaths from brain and other CNS tumours in the UK. Of which 3,889 deaths were from invasive brain and other CNS tumours, and 995 deaths were from non-invasive brain and other CNS tumours.
  • In 2005-2009, 15% of adults in England survived their invasive brain tumours for five years or more.

My oldest friend died a few years ago – we assumed it was from a form of aggressive cancer but his family didn’t talk about it.

Thankfully now things are very different – if you’ve got cancer you’re ill – it’s time to face up to it and deal with it.  OK, you may say, that’s easy for me as a non-sufferer to say – yes I know but I am living with it every day.

When my wife was first diagnosed it was all doom and gloom – inevitably.  But I found solace and inspiration in the life of Ali Booker who was a regular on my local radio station.  She openly discussed her fight with cancer on her blog – “The occasional ramblings of a radio journalist.  Who happens to have terminal cancer” – and boy did she fight it,  she did audio diaries of her daily trials and tribulations – and won a  Sony Award for them.  She was a special person she helped me adopt a more positive outlook.

Now one of my friends fighting the disease is blogging about his journey http://heartofcaring.blogspot.co.uk/ – he’s adopting that positive outlook – as he said recently:

Drawing upon our individual and combined strength. There has already been a great deal of positive that has spontaneously come out of this ‘bombshell’. I hope some of you will benefit and as I continue to do so in the same way as I have gained in strength and wisdom, hope for humanity from this whole experience. It’s great to be human on this amazing planet.

I urge you to read his blog and support him by engaging in the debate.

I know that it seems there is a new hopeful news item every week about how we WILL be able to fight cancer but for now it’s still a case of be strong – stay positive!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: