Thursday, September 5, 2013

speaking of cancer

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  It is also Lymphoma Awareness Month, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Leukemia Awareness Month.  As you can see, the spotlight is indeed on cancer this month.  Let's talk a little about it.

First a little personal background.  My mom lived for several years with leukemia.  Earlier this year when she died, the leukemia was a factor, but she also had developed lung cancer.  It is not uncommon for more than one form of cancer to invade someone's body.  Her mother also died from cancer.  This week, a friend of mine died after a three year fight against cancer.

We don't have cures and we don't know all the causes. We do know that they are very diverse and complex and that over 200 different known cancers that affect human beings. That to me is pretty incredible. President Richard Nixon declared a "War on Cancer" in 1971 and since that time, the United States has spent over $200 billion on cancer research, and we of course are not alone. Since cancer is not just a single disease, but rather a class of diseases, it is not likely that there will be a single cure. We have made some progress though. The death rate is slightly lower.
We need to do more though.  That is one reason why I am raising funds through the Light the Night Walk later this month.  That's why I support the American Cancer Society.  That's why I am excited that there is attention given to several different cancers during the month of September.  We need to wipe out all cancers, and I believe that we ARE capable of doing it!

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