Guest blog: “The more I expand my knowledge the more I also understand that there is hope”

Pleased to introduce you to our first guest blogger, who wishes to remain anonymous but is happy to share their thoughts as someone affected by cancer.

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Guest Blog Post โ€“ 1

September 2022, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cancer has affected my family in so many different ways. I am fortunate enough to say I have never had cancer, but I cannot say it hasn’t affected my life.

When I was roughly 13 years of age, my family received news that no family wanted to hear. My mother was diagnosed with kidney cancer and was about to be sent to St. Johnโ€™s for surgery. I really did not understand, even though I was 13. It was very difficult to wrap my head around. I did not understand why it was happening either. That same year, my motherโ€™s uncle, my great uncle, was also suffering from cancer. We were very close with him. He unfortunately passed in 2015. I am very fortunate to have my mother, my largest supporter and best friend by my side today, cancer free. There are many people in this world who aren’t as lucky.

With cancer affecting my family in so many ways, I decided a long time ago that I was going to help make a difference. I have participated in the Relay for Life, I have joined a wonderful public interest group on cancer, and I have tried to educate myself on the concept to the best of my ability. Cancer is, without a doubt, something that we fear. It has a massive impact on the individual, as well as their family and friends.

The genetic makeup of cancer is something so complicated that many cannot begin to understand; itโ€™s a disease that has been taking lives for over 3000 years, as the first documented case of cancer is from around 1500 BC. It is also very likely that cancer has always been around, and this is just the first documented case when people were beginning to understand. Around 360 BC, Hippocrates deemed the disease to be termed carcinoma, then in later years the English termed it Cancer.

I do as much research as I possibly can, and I always ensure it is coming from a trusted source. 50% of people in Canada will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and 25% of those will pass away from cancer. As of today, there is no set cure. There are prevention measures that can be taken, as well as treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But prevention is better than treatment. The prevention measures that can be taken such as wearing sunscreen in the sun, eating healthy, remaining active, getting vaccinated, are just some of the ways you can reduce your risk. In saying this, sometimes cancer just occurs even with all these measures being taken. Always remember to live a healthy life, as well as a happy life, as tomorrow is never promised. Sometimes even if you do all these things and more, as my mother did, you can still obtain the unfortunate diagnosis.

I explain all these different facts for the sole purpose of understanding. I truly believe that educating ourselves on this topic can result in a small decrease in risk. I believe that educating ourselves about anything, especially things that scare us, has benefits.

Cancer was something that since I was a young child, frightened me. However, the more I expand my knowledge the more I also understand that there is hope. There is hope to not only decrease risk, but the hope for a cure and to find more methods of protection.

Disclaimer: Guest blogs are the purposes of education and/or sharing perspectives. The information shared by bloggers should not be interpreted as medical advice. All health information should be discussed with your health care provider.