North Texas Daily

There is a lack of awareness for common and deadly cancers

There is a lack of awareness for common and deadly cancers

There is a lack of awareness for common and deadly cancers
February 26
15:47 2020

Cancer is a tough experience no matter what form a person is diagnosed with. Although every form of cancer is difficult to go through, some forms don’t get enough awareness or funding.

For women, the most common and deadly form of cancer is breast cancer, which is why it has gained so much awareness. Breast cancer awareness is a great example of what can be accomplished when people work hard and unite to raise awareness for a cause. Funds raised for breast cancer have allowed them to make incredible advancements toward quicker detection, more productive treatments and improving patient’s quality of life.

Early detection is crucial to surviving cancer, and the breast cancer movement could help others achieve the same amount of success. Cancer patients deserve to be represented within their community because they are all fighting the same disease but in different forms. We could prevent countless deaths and improve lives by working together to raise awareness for all cancer patients.

Cervical, colon, endometrial, liver, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancers were given the least amount of funding, even though many of them are commonly diagnosed and associated with higher death rates, according to a study published in 2015 for the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

In the age of social media, we should represent all cancer patients equally. Representation leads to awareness, which can lead to things like fundraising events. Breast cancer has already proven that awareness goes a long way and people care about helping cancer patients and survivors. Representation provides cancer patients with larger networks and more resources.

Although cancer physically attacks a patient’s body, it takes a toll on their emotional and mental health as well which is why it is important to validate their experience through representation in society and the media.

“Cancer feels isolating and can be very hard during the moments when you just want to talk to someone who ‘gets it,’” said cancer survivor Barbara Tako in an article for Cure Today.

Cancer’s impact is wide and touches everyone in some way. Personally, my mother survived endometrial cancer and her two sisters survived breast cancer. My mother struggled to find a support group for her specific type of cancer. Things like support groups are important because patients can connect with each other and feel less alone during their treatments.

Finding people who understand what they’re going through is hard. The lack of awareness and funding has led to an inherent lack of support for their specific type of cancer. Each form is unique and requires different treatments, which makes it difficult to find people going through the same situation.

For families and friends of cancer patients, it’s heartbreaking to see their loved one go through an intense illness feeling alone. No matter what they do, family members can’t relate to them in the same way and fully empathize with them.

One in two men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. It can affect anyone, and it’s in our best interest to bring more awareness to each form.

Awareness leads to funding, which leads to research which can then lead to saving lives through early detection and improving cancer treatments.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Shelby Stevens

Shelby Stevens

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