Its horrid thinking about cancer and it can be worse talking about it but because so many of us are affected by this terrible disease shouldn’t we be talking about it more? Here is why we should:
Reason 1 is the most obvious. One in two people are likely to get cancer at some point in their lives. This is a startling figure and the scary part is we cant know for sure which of our family and friends it will be.
Reason 2, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes, look at your clock now and again when you’ve finished reading this post, thats at least one more person. Make a mental note of the time and calculate how many more people will be affected when you look at your clock again.
Reason 3. Figures from 2014 indicate 163,000 cancer deaths, that is 450 per day. Can you imagine what 450 people in a room looks like? Then imagine seven rooms to get a week’s worth. It soon looks pretty scary.
Reason 4. I mentioned someone is diagnosed every two minutes but every four minutes someone dies from cancer in the UK. Add this in to your calculations from reason 2 above.
Reason 5. It’s not all bad news, in 2010/11 50% (half) of people diagnosed with cancer survived for 10 years or more, thats good but with more support and knowledge we hope to increase that number.
Reason 6. You can limit your risk and take ownership of your destiny as 42% (4 in 10) cases are linked to lifestyle factors so, think about how you could give yourself the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.
Reason 7. The age range 0-24 is the one with the highest increase in cancer incidence rates since the late 1970’s in the UK. Scary stuff if you’re young or if you are a parent or grandparent.
Reason 8. About 86,500 male and and 79,600 female deaths were attributable to cancer in the UK in 2014. Cancer doesn’t discriminate though, male, female, transgender, gay or straight or however else you identify nobody is immune to it.
Reason 9. Ninety percent of patients said their patient experience was ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ so that should give you confidence that once diagnosed the professionals spring into action and really do take care of you. They are working on that other 10% though to improve further.
Reason 10. We should take encouragement from the fact cancer survival is getting better and has doubled over the last forty years in the UK.
Reason 11. The good news is cancer death rates are projected to reduce by 15% in the UK from 2014 to 2035, to 280 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035. Lets do all we can to prove that or even better, reduce it even further!
I know it can look daunting but as Sir Francis Bacon said, knowledge is power so are you equipped and prepared to deal with it? How much do you know about the early signs of cancer? Is it dismissed as something you’ll read or learn about later? Taking in information in doesn’t need to be ‘heavy’ or depressing. Follow us on twitter @lgbtcancersupp we often share articles and reading something that sparks your interest is more likely to remain in your memory.
Join us on Twitter every Sunday from 8-9pm for #LGBTCancerHour chat, queries and debate is welcome and theres no such thing as a silly question, everyone is welcome so we will see you there!
Statistics published by Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics#heading-Three , Accessed Jan 2017