Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cancer in the 21st century.

''Gone are those days when doctors were the only people who knew about diseases.This statement is true not only for simple flu, but also for complex cancer.In the present time, diseases exist beyond the big fat medicine books. With all the knowledge explosion on us by media, all the awareness campaigns by the governments, people are more than just aware of the diseases that exist for real. But all of this awareness and knowledge, does it really have a role to play? Are we, the so called city-people, considering getting ourselves screened and checked regularly? No.Unless of course we have visible symptoms which are hampering our lives.

The reason behind all this is that, there is so much knowledge around us these days (which is almost always incomplete), that it's started to give us all a false sense of security! We think we know if we'll have cancer because we'll all have common symptoms like sudden unexplained weight loss, voice changes,or a non-healing wound.Such assumptions are ridiculous because most of the cancers DO NOT present with any symptoms at all before they reach the end stages.
The reality of a disease like cancer is so much different when we and our loved ones are far away, than it is when we are slightly near it. And then, there is very little that we can do to help us and others.We think, 'if only I knew better' Well, we can know better!
The only thing we can do to make it better is to equip ourselves with knowledge, regardless of our profession and stand in the society. This alone can help us play our roles better.Yes, we all have some role to play.There were days when Cancer was a dreadful disease to everyone.Not that it isn't now, but the scenario has changed! It's become common knowledge to all that smoking causes cancer, but how many people actually stop smoking? Because it has become a common thing, we see and hear all about people around us dying with cancer, we feel sorry and sleep it out.
Those days are long gone when we could just sit in our homes and wait for the people in the laboratories to come up with 'ONE MAGICAL CURE FOR CANCER' Surely hope is a good thing to have, but again, faith without actions is dead.
Everyone has a role to play!
Researchers are studying Cancer, its behavior,etc and are trying to find a cure.
Pharma companies are trying to come up with effective drugs and lessen the side-effects.
Doctors and Surgeons stay updated with all the recent cures and help the patients get better.
Nurses try to make the patients feel more comfortable and help them ease the pain.
Physical Therapists help the patients to go back to their normal lives once the nightmare is over.
But, that's not it. How many of us are trying to prevent it? I know it's something beyond our total control, but we have the knowledge and resources. Are we utilizing those to the fullest? I think we all know the answer to that.
So, who can prevent it? We all can. And can anybody do it for us? Nope. So, how do we prevent it?
We all need to change our perspective and indifference about Cancer. It's very common now . But does that make it kill less people? No, only more! So should we just feel sorry for those affected and go back to work? Not at all. We should put in efforts and find out our risks, eventhough we consider ourselves very very healthy.
Creating awareness regarding cancer should not be a yearly event , but a continuous process! This will filter out thousands with risk as opposed to five or six in a yearly campaign.
The risk factors should be minimized for all of the population.for example prohibition of tobacco.And specially for those who are at high risk.for example administering 'tamoxifen' to women with high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, or even considering an option of mastectomy.
Efficient record keeping should be done of individuals with cancer.Record of one individual who was diagnosed, will show the probability of it developing in atleast 3-4 other individuals who are blood-relatives.for example, a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer has two daughters and a sister. This should be recorded and their chances of developing cancer should be evaluated.They should be educated about the risk factors and regular screening and so on.

The one thing we know for sure about Cancer, is that it's a disease with strong genetic predisposal, where the genetic material in the cells mutate and they divide uncontrollably.This genetic trait can be passed on to offsprings, and can be found in other blood-relatives as well.So, we should use this knowledge to our benefit, and the greater benefit of our society.''
Also read
5 reasons why you should study Oncology.
Cancer and surgery.
What is Radiation oncology?
What is Cancer-related fatigue?
What is psycho-oncology?
12 causes of cancer.

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