Why Cancer is More Common Than You Think
Let me ask you this question: which do you think is a more common cause of mortality, cancer or diabetes?
Before I give the answer, let me talk about cancer. If you don’t have it, you’ll think you’ll never have it. It’s something that “happens to other people, but not to me,” you might think. But here’s a reality check: cancer is one of the top causes of sickness and mortality worldwide, ranking fourth among all the diseases that causes death in the Philippines, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Last 2005, DOH released a list of the top ten causes of mortality in the Philippines. Almost 42 thousand people died of cancer, while less than 19 thousand died of diabetes. So, to answer the above question, CANCER is a more common cause of mortality than diabetes by almost threefold.
To put simply, you and I are more likely to say pass away of cancer than of diabetes. Yes, cancer is more common than you think. (On another note, PLEASE do have Pap smears, bre@st self exam, and other screening tests recommended for your age.)
More and more people are suffering from cancer. It then touches me that those who are battling cancer and those who have already survived it have joined forces to support each other in their battle against cancer. CanShare, a support group for cancer warriors, was also founded by cancer warriors. I now have the privilege of sharing with you their stories.
With the members of CanShare,
a cancer warrior support group in the Philippines
“It was in early 2004 when I felt a lump in my breast. I began to feel uncomfortable, especially at night. I felt in my back and my breast was so tender,” Dr. Beth Miana of CanShare, diagnosed with breast cancer, shared. “I have to be strong for my family. My children were so young then; they were my (main) concern. I uttered repeatedly in my prayer, ‘Lord, let it be benign.’” And thus starts her battle.
Adora Salagubang, also diagnosed with breast cancer, narrated her experience as well. “In my ordeal with breast cancer, my chemotherapy days were the hardest. They say losing hair is the worst part of chemotherapy (but not for me).” She then proceeded to tell the story of how she no longer enjoyed food. “No matter how delicious the food was, it always smelled oily and yucky. What’s worse, they tasted bland or metallic.”
Cristy Terrado, a breast cancer warrior and also a diabetic, shares how she almost lost faith. “At one point after my chemo, I told God, ‘Lord, what are you doing to me? This is a terrible shock! Cancer and diabetes, what else do you want? I have been trying hard to be a good person and I have never offended anyone. Is this the reward I get for all my good deeds? Lord, I am tired; I can’t take anymore. I give up.’” Cristy was diagnosed with breast cancer after her sister passed away, also of breast cancer.