World Cancer Day…hoping for a world without cancer

To a world where cancer no longer exists…

I figured it’s only natural that I would choose to write an entry today, afterall, February 4th has been declared World Cancer Day.  Although we have made advancements in the field of cancer, we still have a long way to go. The harsh realities are that millions of people will be diagnosed with cancer this year, many of which will die from the dreadful disease.  Here are some startling statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, as of their 2014 report on Canadian Cancer Statistics:

– At 30%, cancer is the leading cause of death among Canadians – more than heart disease (19.7%) and cerebrovascular diseases (5.5%).

– An estimated 191,300 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer in 2014 – 97,700 men and 93,600 women.

– About 76,600 Canadians are estimated to have died of cancer in 2014 – 40,000 men and 36,600 women.

– On average, 524 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day – and 210 Canadians will die from cancer.

– More than half – about 52% – of all new cases estimated to be diagnosed in Canada in 2014 were prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers.

– 45% of men and 41% of women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.

I pray that I will be able to see a future without cancer.

Today I wish to dedicate this post to all of the brave men, women, and children that have been affected by this treacherous disease or have sadly succumbed to it.  For all those who have fought the good fight, but have unfortunately passed away from cancer, I want to take this time to tell all of you how incredibly brave you were, and that each and every one of you has continued to inspire me (as well as millions of others) to keep fighting each and every day with every fiber of our being, so that one day we can be proud to say, “Cancer who?”.

We have to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our environment, which means drastically altering our diets and lifestyles.  Diet, exercise, and mind-body connections are sooo important, people! We have to seriously consider and act on the signs and warning signals. We have to get regular screening (come on ladies, get those boobs checked, and men get those prostates looked at). We have to be positive, open-minded, and willing to fight for our futures. And most importantly, we have to be our own advocates in this battle.

As someone who has faced cancer five times and is currently living with metastatic disease, I know how damn frustrating, scary, and tiring this illness can be. It can literally suck the life right out of us (if we let it). It can turn strong, healthy individuals into frail, unrecognizable human beings. It can try to take over our minds, bodies, and spirits, so we have to take a stand not to let cancer control us anymore. Instead, we have to learn to control this disease. Essentially I have been told numerous times by healthcare professionals that cancer in today’s day and age is more of a chronic disease, sort of like diabetes, whereby we live with cancer and we try to control and manage it as opposed to eradicating it completely (this is especially true when it comes to metastatic cancer). It’s very difficult to face a cancer diagnosis, led alone a fourth-stage cancer or terminal one. However, for all of those brave individuals before us who have lost their battle to this sickening disease, we owe it to all of them, to keep fighting the good fight. One day, we will win… we have to.