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Thoughts on World Cancer Day

WCDToday is World Cancer Day (, which I have to be honest, I don't know if I really get. While I love the idea of dispelling the myths around the disease, I don’t know if we need a special day to do that. Maybe if on this day everyone that has been diagnosed with cancer was given the day off from work - now that would be interesting and worth celebrating.

Many different groups hope that this day will be a day to call attention to the disease itself - but I would be surprised if there was an adult on this planet that has not heard of cancer - awareness of the disease is not going to stop people from dying.

I think that on World Cancer Day two things should happen - the media should dedicate their coverage to advances in science to beating the disease and there should be a world-wide competition to finding a cure.  Oh ... And all survivors should take the day off from work.

As a person who has heard the words "you have cancer" - I don't need a special day to remind me - I remember every day while I battle side effects of treatment and support friends and family who are also survivors.

What about all of those people in the world that have cancer and don't have access to modern pain medicine and treatment? What about those small organizations that are struggling to serve underserved populations that have been forgotten all over the world? What about all the children that have to face the disease before they have even learned to walk?

World Cancer Day was created as a worldwide effort to dispel the myths about cancer but without the active involvement of every person on the planet to stand up and demand equal and fair care and more importantly a cure - I am not sure what a single day will accomplish.

You want to dispel a myth??? When you are diagnosed with cancer – it is not a death sentence. Every single person on this planet will die some day – and for those of us who have heard the world cancer by our doctor – all that makes us different is that the illusion of immortality is no longer distracting us.

I say on World Cancer Day you hug a survivor and take a pledge to enjoy the day we have all been given to live. Oh … and give all survivors the day off work!