A man running through calendar pages that have a microphone and orange awareness ribbon

Cancer Research Month

May is Cancer Research Month. As we all know, research is necessary. It is one of the only ways the medical system can come up with new treatments and drugs that can help to combat cancer and allow people to live longer and fuller lives.

Thanks to research, my daughter's life was saved

I know it was all the research that came about for Hodgkin’s lymphoma that saved my daughter’s life. Just 40 years ago she may not have lived. The hope of Cancer Research Month is to inform people about all the research being done and some of the plans for the future.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), states, “Thanks to spectacular advances made by cancer research, more than 16.9 million people in the United States and millions more worldwide are cancer survivors who are living with, through, and beyond their disease.”1

Many advances have been made and for that, we can give thanks. But, as many of us know, the problem is people are still suffering and dying from this disease. Research is necessary and luckily we have a month that helps to support and understand this need.

Education about cancer

One of the things AACR does is highlight specific cancer(s) each month. This helps people to not only know this type of cancer exists but also helps to educate them about preventative measures that can be taken as well as provide education in relation to that type of cancer. Blood Cancer Awareness Month is in September and highlights the three main types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.1

Information about dealing with a diagnosis

The Cancer Research Institute shares information about what you can do if you are diagnosed with cancer. The eight topics they feel are important to focus on, especially when newly diagnosed are:

  1. Talk openly with your doctor. They are here to help so let them know what is going on.
  2. Get a second opinion. It is usually wise to get a second opinion, especially if you have some concerns.
  3. Inform yourself about your cancer. Know as much as you can about your disease. Ask and research about side effects, treatment options, medications etc. Remember, knowledge is power.
  4. Decide carefully on your treatment plan. Ask your doctor lots of questions and be sure you fully understand what your treatment plan will be.
  5. Be a smart patient. Know your options and pick the best one for you.
  6. Make the most of available support services. Find out what support services are available to you and then take advantage of them. Do what you can to help yourself get better and heal.
  7. Consider your finances. This is a tough one because having cancer can be very costly. Talk to the financial consultants and the hospital to see how you can better manage your costs and payments.
  8. Take charge of the future. This is your life. Stay on top of it and don’t forget to plan for the future. Stay positive.

The ACCR offers a handbook that goes into more depth. If you are interested for yourself or for a loved one, here is the link: Download your free copy (2.72 MB PDF) It gives lots of information and is worth a look even if you’ve had cancer for a while.

Things to do during Cancer Research Month

During the month of May, there are a few things we can do to offer others hope and support. The American Association for Cancer Research suggests the following may be helpful to others.

  • Share your story - Many people love to hear stories of survival and hope. Share your story through a blog, a video, or even in person. You never know how helpful this may be to someone.
  • Take action - Speaking to members of Congress and the White House helps to make change occur. Make your voice heard.
  • Donate - If you are financially or physically able, donating time or money can help with research and research leads to progress.

I’m happy to know there is a month dedicated to cancer research. My daughter was able to be cured and is now living a wonderful life because of the progress that was accomplished through research. Hopefully, a cure for all of us will be found one day.

Wishing you all health and happiness.

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