As relayed in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2012 report, an estimate 1.64 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer, in 2012, along with over 577,000 cancer-related deaths. While cancer treatments have become more and more effective with defeating, minimizing and slowing the growth of cancer – thus increasing life expectancy and lowering the mortality rate of cancer patients – prevention and early detection remain the most important factors. It is this point that National Cancer Control Month seeks to raise awareness for.
In the United States, April is National Cancer Control Month: a federally endorsed observation that is annually encouraged by a proclamation from the President. Approved through a joint resolution by congress in 1938, the yearly announcement from the President is a reminder to all Americans that awareness surrounding the factors that may cause or prevent cancer should be paid attention to. From Roosevelt through to Obama, each commander-in-chief has taken the time, during the end of March or beginning of April, to draft a proclamation for Cancer Control Month. Here is a selection from President Barack Obama’s 2013 address:
Detecting cancer early gives patients the best chance for successful treatment. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers are required to cover recommended cancer screenings and other preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient — a provision that has already helped nearly 71 million people. To build on those gains and stop cancer before it takes hold, I encourage all Americans to see their health care providers for regular screenings and check-ups.
Expanding on today’s progress also means investing in tomorrow’s breakthroughs. My Administration is committed to supporting the kind of medical research that has unlocked decades of new therapies and promising interventions. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will also give cancer patients better access to those treatments by preventing insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition or putting annual dollar limits on most benefits. (Presidential Proclamation, March 29th, 2013)
With so many medical practitioners, researchers, and cancer specialists highlighting the need for positive lifestyle decisions in the fight against cancer, it is paramount that we begin to get involved with our own fight against cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet, staying physically active, avoiding smoking and tanning – along with cancer screenings – very greatly reduces an individual’s risk of many types of cancer. It is key that we take a proactive and personal approach to cancer awareness: it starts with becoming personally responsible for avoiding risk and increasing preventative measures. Only then can we begin to properly inform others about potential cancerous hazards.
While much progress has been made in biotechnology, life sciences and the medical field, cancer is still a difficult disease to treat. Committing ourselves to the development of the next generation of cancer treatment, we hope to increase the efforts of the industry and allow for higher treatment success, along with better quality of life for patients. OncoSec’s alternative cancer treatments are currently undergoing trials, in order to monitor the effectiveness of the proposed methods. For our latest released results, please see the update to the analysis of the interim data for our phase II metastatic melanoma trial.
Just as we strive towards increasing the effectiveness of cancer treatments, so too should you aim to expand your knowledge surrounding cancer prevention. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other techniques should be a last resort, in your arsenal for fighting cancer. Stopping cancer truly begins with not contracting it at all. The more steps we take towards prevention, the greater our nation’s overall survival will increase.
At OncoSec, we believe very strongly in raising awareness, encouraging cancer advocates, survivors and those going through treatment, as well as spreading preventative measures. To join our community, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Together, we can help to greatly diminish the devastation caused by cancer.
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