04 Jan 2012
Tags: abnormal cells, aunts, biological therapy, cancer drugs, chemotherapy, contract, dad, Dana-Farber, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, deaths, disease, education, facts, Foam Roller, fought cancer, Global Healing Center, grandmother, group run, heart, hormone therapy, killer, Kristina's Rainbows of Hope, liver, parents, prevention, radiotherapy, stomach, The American Cancer Society, The World Health Organization, types
I thought it was about time to write a post to highlight why I am running for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. While the cause is close to my heart because my grandmother and three of my aunts have fought cancer, I have learned that many others are also affected by this disease.
I thought I’d share 10 facts about cancer that I learned today…and maybe are new for you as well.
(Sources include: The World Health Organization, Global Healing Center, The American Cancer Society, & Kristina’s Rainbows of Hope)
- There are over 100 types of cancers
- Cancer starts when abnormal cells in part of the body start to grow out of control
- Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths in 2008
- Lung, stomach, liver, colon, and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
- One in three people will contract cancer, one in four will die from the disease
- One in every 330 Americans will develop cancer by the age of 20.
- 77% of all new cancer cases are found in people 55 years of age or older
- Childhood cancers are the #1 disease killer of children, more than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined
- Typical cancer treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, biological therapy, cancer drugs…among some others.
- More than 30% of cancers could be cured if detected and treated early. More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly be not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and preventing infections that may cause cancer.
I think early prevention and education about the disease are extremely important. I am lucky that many of the people I know that have fought cancer have been cancer survivors.
On a side note, today I took another easy day from training. Rested/iced my leg and used the foam roller. I called my dad today to see if he thought it would be ok to run a long run this weekend (Dana-Farber is having a group run this Sunday 14-16 miles), he encouraged me to take it easy until next weekend to really allow my leg to heal. I know it is the right thing to do, but needed my dad’s confirmation. Hey, who said a girl at 26 didn’t need her parents’ opinion/approval still?
18 Nov 2011
Tags: breast cancer, Cancer, Dana-Farber, Garden Room, Harvard MA, support group, The Healing Garden, treatment, Virgina Thurston
Yesterday, I visited a place called “The Healing Garden” in Harvard, MA. We were dropping off a check donated by the bank I work for. I didn’t know much about the place, but have heard a number of people rave about it. While we were there, we had an opportunity to talk with Karen, the Director of Integrative Care at the Healing Garden, to learn more about what they do. We sat in the Garden Room of the Healing Garden to talk more about the organization. I absolutely loved this room…it felt like a retreat…a home away from home.
The concept of this place is really unique. It is a place where women that have been afflicted by cancer can get therapeutic services or attend educational programs. The Virgina Thurston Healing Garden was started by Bill Thurston in Harvard, MA after he lost his wife Virginia Thurston to breast cancer. During Ginny’s fight with breast cancer she spent time in her garden and explored complementary therapies, mediation, etc from her regular treatments.
Now I can’t speak from personal experience, but I can only imagine the traumatizing experience one goes through when they find out they are diagnosed with cancer. At the Healing Garden, their goal is to educate, empower, and provide the tools needed to give women back their life. On their website they explain better what they do (taken from http://www.healinggarden.net/index.php):
- remind you that you are a person, not a disease
- help you prepare for surgery (if necessary)
- support you during all your treatment protocol(s)
- provide post-treatment support for as long as it’s needed
- balance metastatic challenges, for as long as needed
- help you, your family, and friends in many other ways
Research and treatment are really important (and that is something Dana-Farber is great at), but I liked how The Healing Garden provided more of a support network for those going through cancer. Cancer, from what I’ve learned, is both a physical and mental battle. Hopefully organizations like these help those fighting with cancer a place to find some peace and carry on with their normal lives.
05 Nov 2011
Tags: bracelet, cancer ribbon, charm, gift
Someone I don’t know really well gave me this bracelet yesterday. When I opened the bag I noticed it had a cancer ribbon charm on it.
It is a sign that I’m meant to run for this cause !!!!!! (Ok, or maybe it is just a coincidence) I am going to wear it regularly to remind me why I am doing this race. (Plus, it is pretty cute )
I’ve purchased a few things in the past because a portion of the proceeds went to breast cancer. Do you own any items that support causes close to your heart? It is great that so many retailers are making and selling items that not only help raise funds , but also help promote awareness to these causes.
03 Nov 2011
Tags: Cancer, case, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, diagnosis, facts, survival
I have been personally touched by cancer – my grandmother passed away from breast cancer and my two aunts are survivors of breast cancer — however, there are SO many more reasons why supporting cancer is important. Not only have I heard about many of your loved ones who’ve been afflicted by cancer, but I have also read the astounding numbers of people who suffer for this disease – caused by both external and internal factors that are often beyond our control.
I thought I would share some of these facts with you. They had a huge impact on me.
(These facts are taken from The American Cancer Society, 2011 – http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-029771.pdf)
- ~1,596,670 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2011
- ~571,950 Americans are expected to die from cancer this year (that is more than 1,500 people a day!)
- Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States (accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths)
- Overall costs of cancer is estimated to be $263.8 billion in 2010
While these numbers seem staggering…the good news is the survival rate is going up! The 5 year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 1999-2006 is 68% (compared to 50% in 1975-1977). Hopefully by supporting cancer research institutes, like Dana-Farber, we can aim for a survival rate of 100%! That is my hope.
Tonight, I am planning on going for a run outside when I get home…I am looking forward to it. The weather has been pretty mild despite the winter-like conditions!