In this spring-time of 2020, we are learning new terminology such as ‘self-isolation’ and ‘flattening the curve’ with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We all try to stay away from each other in fear of something we can not see to fight or to ward off. As we do this, we need to remember there is another big C word which we fight, that attacks our population every minute of every day, more indiscriminately, leaving emotional and physical scars on its victims and those it leaves behind.
April is Cancer Awareness Month and is usually accompanied by the glowing bloom of yellow daffodils for sale by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), as the annual flower campaign kicks off. The daffodil is a flower of resilience. It is a bloom that pushes its way through the hardened earth, to sprout new life as one of the first flowers of spring – a time of renewal and hope. The daffodil symbolizes strength, courage and new life.
This April there will be a marked absence of daffodil sales for the CCS as the annual flower campaign can not proceed for health and safety reasons. The screaming lack of flowers sales does not resonate on the deaf ears of cancer, as it continues to assail more than 617 Canadians with new cases each day.
According to the CCS, an estimated 225,800 new cases of cancer and 83,300 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada in 2020.
“Cancer is a disease that mostly affects Canadians aged 50 and older, but it can occur at any age,” the Canadian Cancer Society said, “Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths”.
Incidence rates of cancer vary throughout the country due to different risk factors and early detection practices. Similarly, death rates across the country from cancer differ because of access to and outcomes of cancer control activities such as screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up, the Cancer Society web site said.
On average, 228 Canadians will die from cancer every day. Cancer will affect 115,800 men and 44,100 will die from it. Cancer will be diagnosed in 110,000 Canadian women and 39,300 will die from it this year.
One in two Canadians, is expected to develop cancer during their lifetime, which equates to 45 per cent of men and 43 per cent of women. One out of four Canadians is expected to die from cancer, which is 26 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women.
While the statistics speak for themselves, the outcome doesn’t have to be grim. The CCS said based on data from 2012 to 2014, 63 per cent of Canadians diagnosed with cancer are expected to survive for five years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
Between 1992 to 1994 and 2012 to 2014, survival rates increased from 55% to 63% for all cancers combined.
The Canadian Cancer Society was officially formed in 1938 and is the country’s largest national charitable funding provider to research for all types of cancer. There are more than 100 types of cancer. The CCS offers support services and education to Canadians living with cancer and their families. Last year CCS funded $40 million in cancer research.
Donate to cancer research by purchasing a digital daffodil in 2020 available at our link: Digital Daffodil
K-J Millar | JournalistÂ
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