Wednesday, February 4, 2015

World Cancer Day - Cancer. It's Not Beyond Us.

February 4, 2015 is World Cancer Day. This year’s campaign will be articulated around four key areas of focus:
  • Choosing healthy lives
  • Delivering early detection
  • Achieving treatment for all
  • Maximising quality of life
This year the focus will be on a proactive approach to cancer treatment and that solutions and cures are within our reach, particularly with the new early detection screening programs and gains made in chemotherapy/radiation treatments. "World Cancer Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness that there is much that can be done at an individual, community and governmental level, to harness and mobilize these solutions and bring about positive change." By moving forward together we have the potential to show: Cancer. It is not beyond us.

I have personal direct experience with the gains made in cancer treatment. Hodgkins Lymphoma is now a highly treatable, cureable form of cancer with proven standards of treatment. For that I am grateful. The survival rates continue to increase for Lymphoma and many other cancers on the continuum.

One of the events related to World Cancer Day is a movement that our family chose to donate towards as a way of paying it forward after my Kicking Cancer party is the No Hair Selfie. A former teacher and his brothers are participating in the campaign and we made a donation to their team. Princess Margaret Hospital is also connected to the Cancer Care Path service which I have been fortunate to be apart of since my diagnosis. In the spirit of the #NoHairSelfie movement, I remember my last day of chemotherapy. It symbolizes how far I have come in the past few months. I am gaining confidence and strength that I am moving past this and that I will continue to re-vitalize and become a stronger person now that I am a survivor.

I researched where the funds raised will go? "Funds raised from the #NoHairSelfie campaign will support the Princess Margaret Hospital's vision of Personalized Cancer Medicine, a multi-faceted, integrated approach to cancer care that focuses on the unique nature of each patient: "Finding the right treatment for the right patient, at the right time." Key Investments and Research Priorities include:
  • Cancer Stem Cells - Erasing cancer’s blueprint
  • Epigenetics - Looking for a genetic on/off switch
  • Guided Therapeutics Program - Superhero vision in one of the world’s best operating rooms
  • Immune Therapy - Helping the body to heal itself
  • Molecular Imaging - The next frontier in diagnostics
  • Nanotechnology - A new field with the potential to revolutionize the way cancer is treated
  • Precision Genomics - Decoding genetic fingerprints
  • Personalized Radiation Therapy – Adaptive, Stereotactic, Regenerative
  • Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care - Caring for the body, mind and soul
  • Survivorship Programming - Putting patients in the driver’s seat"

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