How Far Have We Come In The Fight Against Cancer?

YOU can help win this war.

Cancer still remains one of the most pervasive and prevalent societal dangers we have to deal with. Each year, 12.7 million people discover they have the disease. That accounts for somewhere between 1-in-2 and 1-in-3 people being likely to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Far as prevalent as it is, what kind of progress have we really been making in the fight against it? Are we any closer to a cure? What can we do to continue that fight? We’re going to look at the steps we’ve made and which we still have to make.


The awareness

Some of the biggest strides have been made in terms of making people more aware of the dangers revolving around cancer and how to be more vigilant for signs that could lead to their own diagnosis. Breast cancer awareness and the need for self-inspection is higher than ever before. More are growing aware of skin cancer awareness and the need to check out possible signs like new beauty spots on the body. But sadly, these are outliers. There are still blind-spots in our awareness, including revolving around male genital cancers, prostate cancer, and how we can inspect for these.


The prevention

Cancer can strike anyone and sometimes without little warning or discernable reason. When we talk about preventable cancer, it should be clear that no-one is to blame for getting a diagnosis that was preventable. Prevention is still one of the areas that we are least informed about, but preventable cancers account for 30-50% of all cases.

There a large variety of risk factors that play into these diagnoses, but the onus is on us as individuals to make sure that we take preventative measures and that our risks are as slight as possible. For that reason, we need to take care of our diet like avoiding sugary drinks, eating foods that prevent cancers like broccoli, garlic, Brazil nuts. We need to be more active. We need to avoid using household chemical cleaners for more environmentally health varieties.


Photo cred – Pexels

The community

The community is at the forefront of most awareness, of a lot of the preventative methods going on, of the support we offer the individuals. There is a plethora of cancer events across the whole country, including runs, donation drives, media events, corporate training and much, much more. Joining any of these events helps you improve the community. Not only through direct donation and fundraising, but through increasing awareness through your participation and through the volunteering efforts that every one of us could find time to contribute. Cancer is a danger to all of us, so all of us should be involved in the community efforts to fight it.


The support

Community efforts provide support in a broader sense, but what about the support that we offer to the individual sufferers of the many forms of cancer out there? These community organizations do play a large role, but many people diagnosed with cancer aren’t aware or may be reluctant to seek the support out there. Support groups are broadly recommended by experts as a source of strength and a good way to deal with the stress and emotional turmoil that can come with a cancer diagnosis.

Discussing your problems with those that share them can be highly effective. But there’s also financial support, from state provided to nonprofit driven, that can help many deal with the costs of healthcare, transport, and living condition changes associated with cancer.


The science

The backbone and the fundamental difference in the impact cancer will have on our society will always come down to the medical science that’s available at the time. In that field, we are always making progress, though it can seem slow.

T-Cell therapy breakthroughs being made at Poseida Therapeutics could lead to engineering immune cells that can fight cancer within the body. New medications such as pembrolizumab could target specific tumor growths. Other breakthroughs are helping to deal with the negative side effects of treatment like radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

While investing personally in communal support and awareness is important, it’s doubly important that we support medical research how we can. If you’re looking for new ways to donate and help the fight against cancer, look specifically at organizations that help fund the scientific research that could, one day, lead to a cure.


The rates

In looking at the rates and statistics of modern cancer cases, there is good news and bad news all at once. The good news is that cancer death rates continue to improve, having come to a five-year low. Fewer people are dying due to better treatment methods. However, inversely, this means that more people are living with cancer, not just that more people get successful treatment.

Cancer diagnoses are on the rise, with smoking, obesity, and old age being named as the three single highest risk factors. Cigarette consumption, at least, is on the decrease, but the other factors remain very prevalent and the focus on prevention could help with both of them.


How you can help

All throughout this article, we have spotlighted different ways you can help win the war on cancer. Being aware of the risks and risk factors for yourself and your family is the most crucial. Know the impact of unhealthy living conditions and habits, as well as different self-examinations you can carry out and the focus on getting preventative treatment from your healthcare practitioner.

Support is the next step in your involvement. Donate, fundraise, and volunteer for organizations that promote not only awareness but contribute to providing support for cancer patients and, most importantly, contribute to the medical science we all rely on.


The signs are clear that there’s still a lot that can be done. While medical breakthroughs continue, there’s plenty we can do in raising awareness, providing support, and preventing cancer in our day-to-day lives. Whether personally or through a loved one or friend, every single person living is likely to be affected by cancer, so it’s a fight for every single one of us.


Main photo cred – Weheartit

 

 

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