Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases one can think of. Those of us who have seen this happening to their near and dear ones, often live in the fear of this terrible disease. Most people have a preconceived notion that after being diagnosed with cancer you are almost certain to die and you should start making arrangements for your immediate family. Of late however, we have seen many survival stories coming through from all walks of life. Famous personalities such as Lisa Ray and Yuvraj Singh have come out in the open and spoken about their fight against cancer.
This makes many wonder. What's the actual truth about Cancer?
Is it really curable? Well, as per World Health Organization, one third of cancer deaths are preventable.
So, what does it take to combat this deadly disease?
Cancer is not a disease. It's a battle. And to conquer it you have to be really prepared. There are three aspects that play an important role in your fight against cancer – Prevention, Preparation and Knowledge
Cancers that are closely linked to injurious habits are the easiest to prevent. For example, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol significantly lowers the risk of several types of cancer such as lung, throat, mouth, and liver cancer. Something like a skin cancer can be prevented by avoiding prolonged exposure to sun's UV rays. Diet and lifestyle habits are also an important part of cancer prevention. Diets that are low in fat and rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains have been proven to reduce the chances of getting cancer. Besides, certain vaccinations have been discovered recently to prevent cancers. But most importantly, systematic screening and early detection of minute physiological symptoms help take on the battle early and reduce the risks. Breast self-examination, mammograms, testicular self-examination, and pap smears are some of the commonly used screening methods.
Many of us believe that cancer can't happen to them and prefer to live life unprepared and quite frankly dangerously – making it a perfect recipe for disaster. According to WHO, 10 lakh new cases are reported in India every year (Source: The Economic Times, June 2015. tYou need to be ready at all times and in every aspect – mentally, physically and financially.
What we should understand is that Cancer, once diagnosed, is a huge financial burden. Experts/Doctors peg the average cost of treatment at around Rs.20 Lakh – 30 Lakh, depending on the stage. And lack of financial preparation can and will prove to be detrimental in the course of your treatment, this in turn significantly reduces your chances of survival. More importantly, your health insurance might not cover critical ailments such as Cancer. Hence, you must have a dedicated plan to ensure 100% readiness when it really matters.
Knowing the type of cancer you have is the first step towards getting the right treatment. Some cancers respond better to surgery while others respond better to chemo or radiation. The stage of your cancer also decides the best treatment for you. A late stage cancer is likely to respond better to whole body treatments such as chemotherapy.
Also, not all types of treatment will work for you, so evaluate your options carefully and choose what suits you the best. Some treatments also have side effects, so don't feel shy asking questions. You need to have your expectations set right in order to adequately prepare your mind and body. It's highly advisable to explore, consult and then decide on the right kind of treatment course.
Remember that the fight against Cancer is tough but can be won with the right preparation and resources.