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Support World Cancer Day on Feb 4

World Cancer Day on February the 4th is a cause I wholeheartedly support. Three years ago, I attended five funerals and all but one was cancer-related. Several kids were left without Mums. One wasn’t even a teenager yet. A very close friend lost her sister and best mate. Another friend who is more like family also lost his sister. She was his only living relative leaving him the sole survivor at the tender age of 40. The remainder were stripped of precious loved ones which had a significant effect on all of them.

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Additionally my Aunt was a victim of ovarian cancer years before. Her symptoms were minimal, much like everyone else. In each case, cancer came like a thief in the night steeling the people we loved away from us.

Then my mum was eventually diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. It went misdiagnosed until the growth was so large it almost cut off her airways. Luckily, her surgeon was amazing and cut it out but the radiation treatment to deter it from returning was severe. It permanently disabled her ability to speak and she neither ate nor drank for almost two years.

Cancer, World Cancer Day, Cancer support, health, diseases, Cancers, Causes, WHO, life, live

So as you can imagine, cancer has made quite an impact on my life and on many people around me. Not even the kids have been left unscathed. When my friend’s dog was diagnosed with cancer we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Not even the animals were safe from its reach!

One thing that can be said for cancer is that it doesn’t discriminate. Young, old, healthy, sick, human, canine – cancer isn’t fussy. In fact, it’s gaining ground, particularly in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. These regions claim greater than 60 per cent of the new cases for the entire globe each year. This indicates a rapidly growing disparity between people from different nations having access to prevention, treatment and palliative care.

Cancer, World Cancer Day, Cancer support, health, diseases, Cancers, Causes, WHO, life, live

This is especially worrisome because the World Health Organization have predicted a 70 per cent rise in new cancer cases over the next two decades. That will make the current rate of 14 million new cases each year rise to an astronomical 22 million and fatality rates are well over half. Something drastic needs to be done.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) developed World Cancer Day to make that happen. They are a leading non government organization, based in Geneva, with links to over 800 organizations across 150 countries. They want to save millions of preventable deaths through awareness and education by pressuring individuals like us to speak up, so world governments and organizations step up!

Cancer, World Cancer Day, Cancer support, health, diseases, Cancers, Causes, WHO, life, live

The aim of World Cancer Day is primarily to raise awareness and capture the world’s media attention. They recognize the power of social media and the power of the people. That includes ALL of us. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account they need you!

They want to ensure essential plans, policies and directives which have been recommended to world government and non-government organizations will actually happen. We all need it to happen. I don’t want to loose one more person in my life to Cancer. If you don’t either, join thousands of us around the world who are prepared to make some noise. It will only take you a minute of you time to get involved. Click on the images in this post for a direct link to the World Cancer Day official website to find out more.

Images via worldcancerday.org

February 2, 2015

Will The Spread Of Ebola Be Worse Than AIDS?

The spread of the Ebola virus has a certain déjà vu about it. You may recall that the AIDS virus, which began in the 1980s, was hosted by monkeys which then spread to humans? Well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola’s initial host was fruit bats, which spread to monkeys, apes and pigs. So this is all sounding pretty familiar, yeah?

Ebola was actually identified in 1976, preceding the AIDS virus. There have been epidemics in certain places in Africa ever since but, this time, Ebola has already killed 4500 people in West Africa and it is now hopping around the globe. There are people coming and going from international airports daily and travel isn’t going to stop, just because of Ebola. We all need to be extra careful of contamination – regardless of what country we live in.

Ebola transition is similar to AIDS; via bodily fluids, like blood. However, it is far more infectious because it can be transmitted via saliva and sweat as well. It’s not airborne as early reports suggested. Dr. Bruce Ribner, who cares for Ebola patients, being treated at Emory University Hospital, Atlanta said that even the skin of patients is potentially infectious. Therefore, Ebola is not only within the person, it also lies on their surface.

To stop the spread, germ control is essential. Regularly wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ebola is first identified by a high fever, so if you see anyone who looks unwell and sweating due to a high fever, stay clear. If you are experiencing these symptoms, head directly to a GP. Many doctors surgeries around the country have signs which specify, anyone experiencing a high fever needs to tell staff immediately, so they can be isolated from other patients inside the clinics. It’s not a joke and we all need to be vigilant.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated guidelines for health workers, which are more specific than previous recommendations. This is after a health worker in the US contracted Ebola while caring for a patient. Previous guidelines were determined to be too confusing and health workers have been put at risk due to unsure practices.

From contagion to death takes only a matter of weeks, not years like AIDS. Dr. James Curran, dean of Emory University’s school of public health and leader of the CDC’s task force on AIDS in the mid-1980s, said that unlike AIDS sufferers, who may not have any symptoms for years and unknowingly spread the disease, Ebola sufferers show symptoms quickly. This may be a key difference of the two viruses. Curran, went on the say that “It potentially gives us a way to break the back of the epidemic”.

This is excellent news. Unlike the wild spread of AIDS, which has occurred since the 1980s and taken millions of lives, Ebola – although far more deadly – maybe easier to eradicate. More good news is that unlike the AIDS virus, which was around for more than a decade before it was thoroughly understood and investigated, the WHO, CDC and government officials have learned that a fast response could potentially save millions. If the AIDS virus has taught them anything; they know they have to contain the spread of Ebola quickly before it gets completely out of control.

Image via http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/2014/08/19/kaiser-ebola-patient/14316293/

October 20, 2014