Posted by: katjorgensen | February 13, 2012

Disturbing Statistics

The other day as I sat in my doctor’s waiting room, I picked up a magazine to pass the time.  Unlike a lot of doctors’ offices, my doctor has current issues available.  As I paged through a women’s magazine, I stumbled across an article that I found particularly disturbing.  And I wanted to share some of the information with you.  Not because it is disturbing, but because we need to be aware.

As a cancer survivor, I tend to think in terms of surviorship and try hard not to dwell on the statistics of the disease.  But this article simply astounded me.

Every 74 seconds someone in the world dies from breast cancer.  That’s every 74 SECONDS.  Talk about an attention grabber.  I stopped reading, and I think I may even have stopped breathing.

Sixty seconds in a minute.  Sixty minutes in an hour.  That’s almost 49 people lost to this disease every hour of the day.  Or over 1,150 lives lost every day.

If the nightly news carried statistics like this concerning a war, the public would be outraged.  Imagine losing over 1,100 soldiers in a war somewhere in the world every single day.

Make no mistake about it – we’re in a war.  A war against all cancers.  I know I’ve talked largely about breast cancer on this blog, because that was the type of cancer I had.  And these statistics only encompass breast cancer.  Add in all of the other cancers that we’re losing people to every single day, and I think we all would be shocked and outraged.

As I read on in the article, it mentioned that 1 out of every 2 men will experience some form of cancer in their lifetimes.  And one out of every three women will have cancer.   Those numbers are sobering.  And astounding.

I’ve already lost my dear mother to lung cancer.  I’ve had more relatives and friends diagnosed with various cancers than I’d care to count.  We are at war.

And we’ve got to do something to reverse these statistics.  To save lives.

Feel the rage at losing so many people a day to a disease that we need to eradicate.

Don’t be one of these statistics.

Educate yourself and your loved ones.

Be proactive.

Support causes like Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Livestrong.  They are truly trying to make a difference worldwide.  Both have great links and information.

Do not shrink away from the facts.  One life lost a day to this disease is one too many.

And last, don’t give up hope.  Hope for a cure.  Hope for a better world.  Hope.

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Responses

  1. This post hits close to home because my sister in law just finished chemo treatments for breast cancer and my mother just had her lung cancer removed. Far to close..

    Scary thing is that you can be up on the issues and educated about the subject, but it can’t be prevented ~ not entirely. (at least not to my knowledge.) Which, to me, is most frightening.

    I’m glad you’ve won your battle. Thank you for bringing focus to this issue. Great post.

    • Kim, I’m sorry to hear about your sister-in-law and your mom. I will be thinking positive thoughts for both of them.

      I think staying positive even in the face of what you’re up against, be it cancer or something else, serves you well. I don’t know how the whole mind/body thing works, but I do know that I was encouraged to think good thoughts about my treatments and envision myself well. As sick as I was from chemo (and boy, was I sick!) I tried to do this every day. I would look forward to things down the road and not be afraid. It’s hard. It’s really hard. But I think you have to do it.

      I’m not saying happy or positive thoughts alone are what you need, but if you have a choice in being negative or positive, I would take the positive every time.

      And I stayed away from statistics. I had friends that would comb the internet for stats. Not me. I didn’t want to know anything. So I think that is why these statistics I read in the doctor’s office hit me so hard. We hear so much about the survivors, but we rarely hear the numbers.

      Thank you for the congratulations on winning my particular battle. I continue to have all of my doctor visits and all of the tests. I’m trying to exercise and get to my goal weight. And I’m trying to feed my body proper nutrition. The rest is in our genetic structure. But I’m going to do anything and everything I can that’s in my power to try to stay healthy.

      And I’m going to continue to educate myself and others and raise awareness. And support my friends as they go through their own issues.

      Please take care of yourself. Blessings to both your mother and your sister-in-law. Please give them both hugs from me and let them know I am thinking of them.

  2. I’ve lost two very dear, dear friends to cancer. One to melanoma and the other to renal cell carcinoma. Horrible, horrible disease. In fact, every person I knew who got diagnosed with it died until my friend Karen survived non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She’s doing really well and still in remission.

    My best friend’s sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer right before Christmas, and it’s already spreading.

    I don’t have words for how much I revile that disease. Part of me wants to be a millionaire just so I can donate 90% of my money to cancer research and the V-Day movements.

    • Emmie, I’m so sorry to hear about your losses. Too many of us have lost dear friends and family members. It’s an epidemic – one that I’d like to see eradicated, just like they did with the black plague.

      I’m glad your friend Karen is doing well. I hope she will continue to be healthy.

      I hope all of us will. I like to concentrate on Hope. Thank you for commenting.

  3. Thanks for writing this. I recently lost a grandmother to lymphoma — a woman who kicked breast cancer more than five years ago and had beaten back the lymphoma just 18 months earlier. My other grandmother beat breast cancer a year ago. Now, my future mother-in-law is fighting breast cancer (successfully, it seems), and who knows where cancer will strike next.

    It’s everywhere. It truly is. And another appalling thing is, cancer that is often “easy” to beat is killing people elsewhere who can’t afford treatment.

    • Oh, Kristin, I’m so sorry to hear about your dear grandmother. It seems that once you’ve had cancer, it makes you more prone to other cancers. Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?

      I hope your future mother-in-law and your other grandmother both do well. We are fortunate in this country to have excellent treatment centers specializing in cancer. My darling cousin (39 with a wife and 5 beautiful children) just spent a year fighting leukemia. He is such a fighter and his wife was pregnant with their 5th child as he was going through his treatments. They are an amazing couple.

      So many people fear a diagnosis that they don’t seek treatment as soon as they should. I’m here to tell people that a diagnosis is not a death sentence. This disease can be beaten. You are so right about the people who cannot afford treatment. It’s outrageous. The drugs that are needed most are usually the most expensive.

      The medicine I have to be on for 5 years was over $160 (with insurance) per month when I started on it. The generic came out about a year ago and the price went down to $15 (with insurance). What if someone didn’t have insurance? The price would have probably been out of sight for them. People should not have to make these choices.

      Thank you for commenting.

      • YES. I take an asthma medicine that’s $130… until I meet my insurance deductible, after which it’s about $30 a month. But what if I didn’t have that insurance? Would I have to cough until my mouth tasted like blood every day?

        I won’t write an entire blog post here in the comments section. 🙂 I can’t even imagine how much cancer drugs must cost. Luckily, even not-so-great insurance carriers here have to cover cancer and (for women) reconstructive surgery costs. But what about those in other, less “developed” countries? What happens to them? Surely there’s something we can do.

        Thanks again for writing this post.

      • The cost of life-saving drugs are just horrible. Yes, I know the pharmaceutical companies have to recover their R&D costs and make a profit, but wow, just outrageous.

        I so agree about the less developed countries. My heart aches for these people. As citizens of the world, I wish we could find better ways to work together. And save lives – in all diseases.

        Thank you so much for you care and concern!

  4. Those are very scary statistics. It’s so important to know your own body and what’s normal for you. And then, if something doesn’t seem right, to act on it right away and not waste precious time. Thank you for reminding us all.

  5. Dear Kat,
    Just discovered your blog while looking through pics of those who knit Anne Hanson’s squall. Wow…the stats and comments posted here really have an impact. You are so kind and inspiring to everyone.

    I would like to share what I have learned over the past year since I retired. There actually IS a way to prevent and to fight cancer. And it is a very simple process. It requires a change in diet, but it has been scientifically proven to help prevent and put existing cancers into remission. Here’s a link to check out: http://www.nutritionfacts.org
    When you get there, use the search box on top to research videos on breast cancer. Lots of good information will come up, all gleaned from the latest research in nutrition and disease, published in reputable medical journals, and summarized by a physician into layman’s terms.

    I wish you a long and healthy life. You have been through so much; I hope that, armed with knowledge, you won’t ever see or have to fight cancer again. You may be interested in watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives, or read The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell. By changing our diets to include only whole, unprocessed natural foods, avoiding some foods that have been found to trigger the growth of cancer cells, we can live a much healthier life.

    Good luck! I hope you will pursue the knowledge.

    Warmest wishes,
    Karen (going to check out some of your books from the library!)


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