Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cancer Not As Scary?

How scary is a breast cancer, or any other type of cancer diagnosis these days? This article, Thanks to advances, diagnosis of breast cancer isn’t as frightening as it was, claims it's not as scary as it used to be due to advances in diagnosis and treatment. However I beg to disagree. That is not the only reason. And societally, we have not changed enough.

Do you remember in the 1970s and earlier when people didn't talk about cancer? No, they whispered about it. So-and-so has cancer.... when's the funeral? Nice sequence there. But that is how life was. No one talked about cancer because it was a death sentence.  No one really knew anyone who had cancer and survived. Now as adults, we probably know people who have had cancer and didn't die. And are actually they are thriving.

Yes there have been lots of advances since the 1950s when the first chemotherapy became available. But it was not broadly available and sometimes the 'cure' was worse than the 'disease' due to the side effects. Now, we have targeted therapies and immunotherapy is coming into its own. But we don't yet have a cure.

But as a cancer person (when does one end being a cancer patient? When one is no longer here.) it is still very scary to be diagnosed with cancer. Just because it is easier to diagnose and treat now, it doesn't mean that it still isn't scary as hell. Cancer kills a lot of people. There is a lot that is not known about cancer and its diagnosis and treatment. More is learned every day. And the proverbial cancer cure is not yet available.

I am not sure if saying a breast cancer diagnosis is not as scary yet is premature or not. It probably is. Because most of us grew up with cancer as a whisper and not as a dinner table conversation. And more generations successfully live through cancer, it will still be very scary. If you choose to disagree, wait until you are diagnosed.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Found your blog...going through BC for the second time...first time 1989 and now in 2018...just when I thought I was out of the woods. Still adjusting to the mental and physical changes it takes to get through this time. Have to make some life style changes that will require me to be diligent. Opting out of chemo...had that last time. Don't want that poison again. Want to make the most of the time I have...which is unknown at this point...so will just focus on not wasting it and doing some good stuff while I can. :-D

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