Cancer is a condition that will touch many of us, and the purpose of writing about my personal experience with cancer is to urge you, the reader, to pay close attention to symptoms that might indicate its presence. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better the chances to heal it. There is no advantage to waiting. There is no advantage not to seek out the best available treatments.
It is important to face the cancer situation directly and not to avoid it. The longer you wait, the more intractable cancer becomes. My family has been very astute and diligent at checking out doctors and treatment choices. They have always supported addressing these problems in a timely and factual manner. As a result, I have enjoyed excellent medical care. Conversely, I have seen many cases where waiting to treat the condition has led to an untimely death.
Cancer is frightening, and the "why me?" question encapsulates that fact. Everyone who faces cancer must find his or her own answer, and this is a process that takes time and thought. When the diagnosis is before you, it is too late to change your life style in a way that reduces the risk factors for that cancer. Here are some common sense points to consider:
- Is there a family history of cancer? If so, be vigilant for those types of cancer that run in your family.
- Is there a life style or environment that puts you at risk? If so, eliminate the risk factors as much as you can and go to check-ups frequently, even after you have eliminated the risk factors.
It appears that the age at which cancer strikes is lowering. Both my father and my uncle had prostate cancer in their seventies. I had it at age 52. If you are at risk, get check-ups frequently.
Like every profession, the medical profession spans a range of skills, diligence, and attentiveness. Doctors are busy like everyone else, and you and I are just one of many patients they have and see in a day. So it is often up to you and your family to research where to go and what questions to ask. It is important to do due diligence: find out who is a good doctor, what hospital has a good record, and so on. Ask around: cancer is not uncommon and many people have a story to tell that might contain a helpful pointer.
Prostate Cancer (Cancer Information Network)
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Craig's Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society
Web site for long-term pancreatic cancer survivors
For mesothelioma sufferers, in no particular order:Search for clinical trials
National Cancer Institute
Web site to search for drugs etc.