Cancer stats and why I write about it

The American Cancer Society reports that in 2010 there were an estimated 207,060 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in females, and of those, 39,840 died.  In 2012 there were 226,870 new cases of breast cancer and an estimated 39,510 women will die from the disease.  While there is a slight decrease in the number of deaths, breast cancer is on the rise. It should be noted that these numbers only include women; male breast cancers have also been diagnosed. Likewise, there were 12,200 uterine cancers diagnosed and 4,210 deaths reported in 2010; while 2012 is expected to see 12,170 uterine cancer diagnoses and 4,220 deaths. The death-rate from ovarian cancer is even higher at 15,500 that are expected in 2012.

Why does it matter? It matters because people suffer needlessly. Cancer treatments are expensive, tremendously emotional and frightening.   The need for treatment could possibly be prevented if people knew how to protect themselves between detection appointments. Almost everyone either has had, or knows someone who has received a cancer diagnosis.  No one wants to go through that.

Why do I care?  I care because I know what it feels like to hear “you have cancer.”  And, I’ve stood at my father’s bedside as he was dying of lung cancer. I watched my mother’s heartbreak as she suffered years after her mastectomy with lymphedema and low self-esteem. I’ve worked in the hospital providing patient care, and have watched the agony, fear, pain and devastation that can entangle people.

I write about cancer  to educate, because I believe that knowledge is power.  I believe that if people knew what to do to avoid all the heartache involved with a cancer diagnosis, most would take proactive steps.  I write to you, my reader, as if I were speaking to family members, because I believe that we are all connected, after all.  I write because I care passionately.    I write to give hope and encouragement.   I am not a doctor.  I do not claim cures.  I simply share from experience what I have learned or what I have read.  I speak for those who cannot speak.  I write for those who don’t know what to do, but want to do something.  I write for you.  Therefore, please bear with me if  cancer topics do not interest you–they interest some of my readers, and if what I write can help even one person, then I will have accomplished my purpose.  If my articles do not personally address your needs, perhaps you know someone with whom you can share my articles, someone who would benefit from the information.  If you have a particular interest that you’d like me address, let me know, I’ll do what I can.   I heard Dr. Oz say that we probably all have cancer cells in our bodies at this very moment, but there are things we can do to build immunity.  Do whatever you can to stay healthy, won’t you?

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