By Nurse Diane
In the recent headline, it was reported that movie star, Angelina Jolie had not only a double mastectomy, but also had her ovaries removed as a preventative measure to avoid acquiring cancer. Her mother passed away several years ago, and most recently an aunt died from cancer. I would not call her a cancer survivor, since she never had cancer, as far as I know, but she did cut the risk greatly. There are many ways to avoid getting cancer, such as staying out of the sun, not smoking, getting checked regularly by your doctor. However there are some times when even if you do all the right things, you still get cancer.
Once you have been diagnosed, you do have some options for survival. You have Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy, Surgery, and most important in my opinion, a positive attitude.
Every year we have a "Relay for Life" event that raises money for cancer research. At some time during this event, there is a survivor's walk. You can see the people who have been diagnosed with cancer, but have over come the dire predictions, and participate in this honorable exhibit. Normally they can also be seen being accompanied by family members and friends as well.
Today is National Cancer Survivor's Day. Wikipedia states that this is a secular holiday celebrated on the first Sunday in June. The day is meant to “demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality”. Though it is mainly celebrated in the United States, the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation is attempting to grow its popularity in other countries, with some success.
If you know someone who has beat cancer, congratulate them today and let them know you are thinking of them. If you know someone who is battling cancer now, show your support, rally around them and encourage others to do the same. Don't allow them to give up the fight, medical science is coming up with new effective treatments all the time, but a good positive outlook, and great support system helps in the battle just as much.
For more information and ways you can help, visit this site: http://www.aicr.org/patients-survivors/?gclid=CLzXt4m9w7cCFanm7Aodn3oAiQ
(Images from Google)