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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month : A Gold for The Fighters, The Survivor, and The Taken

Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Did you know that almost 400 000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year? It can be said as a great number. According to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the survival rates continue to rise every year. More than 80% of children with cancer are cured in high-income nations, where comprehensive services are widely available. On the other hand, in low- and middle-income countries, an estimated 15-45% are cured. Lack of diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis, barriers to receiving care, abandonment of treatment, death from toxicity, and increased rates of relapse are all causes of avoidable childhood cancer fatalities in low and mid income countries. “Childhood cancer is the number one killer of children by disease. And while statistics now show that 83% of the almost 16,000 children diagnosed in the US each year ‘survive’, this does NOT necessarily mean that they are cured and go on to lead healthy lives,” says Laura Thrall, CEO of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer.

Therefore, every September, childhood cancer organizations all over the world commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was established in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama. The goals of this month are spreading awareness and raising funds for those affected by childhood cancer.The Gold Ribbon is the International Childhood Cancer Awareness Symbol, and gold is the international color for childhood cancer awareness. As we know, gold means honor.  At Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we honor the children who are currently fighting cancer, their families, the clinicians and other caregivers who are treating them, the survivors of childhood cancer, the children who have lost their lives to childhood cancer, and the researchers working to conquer childhood cancer.As a society, we should consider supporting children with cancer. As a society, we should consider supporting children with cancer. So, how to get involved in supporting them during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

Here are few suggestions given by CureSearch for Children’s Cancer :

  1. Leave Your Mark and #MakeItGoldForKids

We can spread awareness by using #MakeItGoldForKids on our social media post. The hashtag will connect to a tight-knit community of people who are leading the fight against children’s cancer. The more people who know about the how this disease devastates children, the faster we can produce results that save lives Moreover, you are supporting an organization that cares about improving childhood cancer treatments and cures for childhood cancer patients.

  1. Connect With Others by Sharing Your Story

One of the best ways to raise awareness about children’s cancer is to connect to other people affected by it. If you know a child with cancer, or someone who supports the fight against cancer, why don’t you listen to their stories and share it. There are a lot of motivational stories that you can listen to from a child with cancer. By listening to their stories, you can have a new perspective and it helps them to be happier because there are people who support them.

  1. Shop with Purpose

On these days, there are a lot of brands that work together with childhood cancer organizations. So, if you want to buy something, you can buy from there. You get what you want, and you have given an indirect donation to the childhood cancer organizations that the brand works with. 

  1. Contribute to Finding a Cure

Contributing to the cure here does not imply that you must conduct cancer research and discover a cure. It means you can give a one-time or recurring donation to help fund research that could save children’s lives. Maybe you can find a local childhood cancer care organization in your country, and donate there. For example, there is Yayasan Onkologi Anak Indonesia in Indonesia. In the US, there is the American Childhood Cancer Organization. And many others across the world. 

This month, let’s share awareness to the world about childhood cancer. We give honor to them, children with cancer. It is time to shed light on the realities of childhood cancer, underline the need of life-saving research, and band together to make a difference for kids who have been diagnosed with the disease. Let’s give gold for the fighter, the survivor, and the taken.

References:

https://www.acco.org/childhood-cancer-awareness-month/

https://curechildhoodcancer.org/childhood-cancer-awareness-month/

https://curesearch.org/How-to-Get-Involved-During-Childhood-Cancer-Awareness-Month

http://www.danafarberbostonchildrens.org/for-families/childhood-cancer-awareness-month

World Cancer’s Day

Written by Mikhael Sianturi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

I Am and I Will

World Cancer’s Day is today! It is the 4th of February! Commemorated to remind the danger of cancer and those who are suffering from it, the special date has a worldwide audience since cancer may attack anyone. Each year, the date has a new motto or theme. The disastrous 2020’s motto was “Progress is Possible”, and the year before that was “Commitment to Act”. This year’s is “I am and I will.”

We can see this theme in the website of the date itself at worldcancerday.org. With its theme, the web encourages people to define who they are and what they can do to make a future free of cancer. It’s a powerful motto considering no matter who we are or what we do, if we all unite and pull an act, surely a large impact is a guarantee.

We are Intelligent People and We Will Act!

First started in the year 2000, the death statistic caused by cancer prior to this year was already horrifying. According to ourworldindata.org, 5.7 million people died from various types of cancer. In 2017, 9.6 million people died, which means there was a 66% increase. However, despite that ugly number, there is a better chance for surviving the disease. From the same source, it shows that throughout from 1990 to 2017, there is a 15% downfall of the death rate standardized by age. It is a small number, considering it took us 27 years to reach this number.

Hence, this is where the motto for this year’s World Cancer’s Day comes in, “I Am and I Will”. A bigger number will be more than achievable if all of us joint force. The simplest action may start from simply learning what cancer itself and informing others. Cancer is a disease in which cells grow abnormally and create an alien mass of tissue namely tumor. It is already a common piece of knowledge, but not everyone is caring enough to implement that piece in their lives. Once again, this can change if people unite and start spreading awareness that is enough to make people both aware and care.

Once you and your friends are packed with knowledge regarding our arch enemy, cancer, here is the arsenal of weaponry that we can use to prevent cancer. According to mayoclinic.org, preventing cancer is not the hardest task in the world. The site suggests to avoid tobaccos, have a healthy diet, be physically active, protect yourself from harsh midday sunlight, practice safe sex, avoid needles, and of course, seek regular medical checkup. If you probably already practice some of these in your life, or even all them, congratulations! If not, you might want to consider your decisions again.

When it comes to treating cancer itself, it is always a trip to the hospital. There is no need to address the different kinds of methods used to treat cancer here. Other than the fact they are expensive, a one-way trip is very possible. Let’s not let cancer win and banish it for good!

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/cancer-prevention/art-20044816

https://ourworldindata.org/cancer