Saturday, February 4, 2012

World Cancer Day: Let's Kick This "Day" Off The Calendar!

The World Cancer Research Fund states (in 2012), "There are an estimated 12.7 million cancer cases around the world every year, with this number expected to increase to 26 million by 2030." That's just 18 years from now and that's a HUGE statistical increase! This, obviously, includes all cancers.

Given numbers like these, and these numbers represent real people, maybe every day should be World Cancer Day. World Fight Cancer Day. World Support Cancer Research Day. World Stop Burying People Who Die From Cancer Day.  These numbers represent me, I already have my cancer, melanoma. They represent you and your loved ones, too. Future loved ones. Loves ones who aren't even a twinkle yet.

Did you know that one in three of these cancers may be preventable? I'm not talking safe sunning and staying away from tanning beds; I'm talking about changing our diets, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. I'm telling you, this site is fabulous and loaded with information! Folks, this is doable! But we have to be willing to do it. We have to be willing to make the lifestyle changes that will reduce risks. Making these changes won't prevent every new case. There's still that genetic component and there are still other factors, but if you can cut your risk, why not? If you can cut your family's risk, isn't it worth it?

I know I'm a fine one to talk. People who know me know that I've never watched my diet. OK, I do "watch" it, I know what I eat and I choose what I like. I've never been a fruit and green veggies kind of gal. My Mama tried, I've got to hand it to her, bless her, she tried. She wasn't woman enough to do it, though. People who know me, know if pressed, I can make "exercise" a four letter word. My Daddy tried, I've got to hand it to him, bless him, he tried. He wasn't man enough to do that either. Need I say I've never been much, therefore, on "weight maintenance?" Well, I do maintain.

But I can honestly say that if I knew then what I know now...my parents would have been man and woman enough because I would have listened. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gladly made those simple changes. Now that I do know now what I now know, I've got changes to make.

Here's a link to a list of the "top" 14 cancers worldwide with info on prevention for each. Read it and learn. I learned something I did not know about skin cancer. "The evidence also shows arsenic in drinking water is probably a cause of skin cancer, though this mainly affects areas without a regulated supply of drinking water." Wow. I have never heard that. Arsenic?!

Finally, here's where to go to find world cancer statistics. See how your country compares to others. Here you will find links to: World Cancer Statistics, World Cancer Rates, Men's Cancer Rates, Breast Cancer Rates, Bowel Cancer Rates, and Oesophageal Cancer Rates (the WCRF is located in the UK and that's how they spell it).

There are a lot of National Health Days, which include various cancer awareness days. We can wipe some of them off the calendar and wipe this one off, too. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

It will take working together, making lifestyle changes, helping people in less fortunate countries have what they need like the right foods and clean drinking water, supporting research, prayer. It will take work and it won't be easy. But it WILL be worth it!

We have the info. We have each other. We aren't in this alone. Whether you already have cancer or whether you will in the future, we're together in this.

And I am grateful.