Taking the fear out of cancer

In June this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The one thing I've discovered over the last few months is that it doesn't need to be associated with the fear and stigma that so often comes with the Big C.

Many people are terrified of getting cancer and will potentially avoid going to the doctor just because they don't want to be confronted with the diagnosis.

However, the reality is that one in three of us will experience cancer at some time in our lives.

Now that I'm actually going through it, it's not that bad.  Or at least, not as bad as I might have imagined before knowing more about the disease, it's treatment and the support available.

Ok, it's not great and I wouldn't have chosen to go through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and it's an emotional roller-coaster but these days, there are so many cancers that are treatable and survivable, it doesn't have to hold the fear it does.

I've heard so many stories of people who had cancer, were diagnosed and treated 10, 15, 20 years ago and are still here.  Diagnosis and treatment these days is so much better and so much more is known about the disease and research is helping to change that all the time.

I know my experience will be entirely different from someone else and the cancer I have/had is only one of many (over 200 different types) and is one that has a good chance of treatment and survival but so do many others.

The sooner the diagnosis, the sooner the treatment can begin, the better your chances of survival and the sooner you can get on with your life.

Fear of the unknown prevents us from moving forward but if we face the fear it's often not quite as terrifying once we take the first step.

(Photo credit: chrisinplymouth)
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