Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February 28th is Rare Disease Day


Over 6000 rare diseases are characterised by a broad diversity of disorders and symptoms that vary not only from disease to disease but also from patient to patient suffering from the same disease.

72% of the diseases are genetic and almost 1 out of 5 cancers is rare.

Relatively common symptoms can hide underlying rare diseases leading to misdiagnosis and delaying treatment. 

Quintessentially disabling, the patients quality of life is affected by the lack or loss of autonomy due to the chronic, progressive, degenerative, and frequently life-threatening aspects of the disease.

The fact that there are often no existing effective cures adds to the high level of pain and suffering endured by patients and their families.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

What is a Cancerversary?

A Cancerversary is an important date regarding a person's fight against cancer

A cancerversary is a date that represents a milestone in regards to a person's battle with cancer. It may be when a person was diagnosed, started a new treatment, found out that their cancer was in remission, or had their last treatment.
The term comes from the combination of "cancer" and "anniversary." It gained popularity in the mid-2010s as people began to more publicly celebrate the victories and defeats that come with battling cancer, especially on social media.
Most people that have not had cancer or experienced a loved one getting cancer will probably not be familiar with the term. However, it is typically a big deal for the person battling it because it represents a moment that forever changed their lives.
Loved ones usually celebrate cancerversaries in a way that is appropriate for the milestone. For example, a cancer survivor's family and/or friends may go out to dinner to celebrate the cancerversary of the person's last treatment much the same way as a wedding anniversary or birthday. Or a person may take time to reflect on the cancerversary on which they were diagnosed to appreciate how it has changed them, for better and for worse.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

World Cancer Day


According to the World Health Organization, Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.  The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) was established in 1993. Based in Geneva, it is a membership-based society working towards the eradication of cancer around the world and advancing medical research. Under its direction, the first International Cancer Day was celebrated in Geneva, Switzerland in the same year. Several well-known organizations, cancer societies, and treatment centers also supported this initiative.

World Cancer Day was made official at the first World Summit Against Cancer in 2000. The event took place in Paris and was attended by members of cancer organizations and prominent government leaders from around the world. A document titled the ‘Charter of Paris Against Cancer,’ featuring 10 articles, was signed, outlining a global commitment to improving the facilitation and quality of life of cancer patients. Advancement and increased investment in researching, preventing, and treating cancer was also highlighted. Article X of this charter officially declared World Cancer Day to be observed on February 4.

Cancer has numerous types, so there are various colors and symbols used to mark a specific type of cancer and promote the fight against it. As a symbol of hope for patients and survivors, the daffodil flower is used by the American Cancer Society for a future where this life-threatening disease no longer exists. 

On this day, hundreds of events and fundraisers take place around the world each year, to bring individuals, communities, and organizations together in hospitals, schools, businesses, markets, community halls, parks, etc. to campaign and deliver the powerful reminder that those hit by cancer are not alone, and we all share a responsibility in reducing the global impact of this disease.