October as we all know it is Breast Cancer awareness month. Pink ribbons are worn as a sign to build cancer awareness as compared to red ribbons which are an awareness sign for HIV/AIDS. Anyone can get cancer, it doesn’t matter who you are. Male or female, young or old, healthy or not. To be diagnosed with cancer is an unexpected experience. Nobody can plan for it and say,“chomee next week I’m getting cancer”. It has no warning unlike having unprotected sex with the likely chances of getting STI. You would ask yourself why did it happen to me and not to gogoMaria who uses Ntsu Snuff every 5 minute or uncle Brown who smokes 3 packs of cigarette a day.
Here you are on your healthy diet, going to the gym occasionally and taking vitamins and watching your health. Then boom, it happens, without a warning! Doctor tells you the sad news, “sesi or buti, you’re diagnosed with cancer”.It is normal for you to think to yourself, “Why me of all people?”
Cancer doesn’t care who you are or what you do. It is the ultimate equal opportunity disease. It affects anyone from infants to older person. It is not clear what really causes cancer or why particular individuals get it. Of course, there are risk factors such as cigarettes, some chemicals or even excessive sun exposure. Then more often than not there are those who inherit cancer. If you had someone in your family who had cancer that’s a red flag worth taking note of. And then what about us who have no family history of aunties and great grand pas with cancer, have never puffed a cigarette and use Vaseline Intensive Care body lotions whenever we’re out in the sun? The sad truth is there is no definitive answer and you are certainly not alone.
According to the CANSA Cancer Statistics 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed with cancer each year. Hey, it is time for us all to go check if we are still safe. A high percentage of people who are diagnosed are just like you or me wondering what happened. Basically somewhere, somehow and for whatever reason, your immune system decided to go on vacation and left you effectively defenceless. When that happened,it gave the initial stages of cancer a chance to develop. Where it comes from that is unknown. It’s not as uncommon as you think, and you shouldn’t blame yourself. The sad truth about cancer is that you can do everything right and still get cancer. No one is safe…
The big 5 cancers affecting men in SA are; Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Kaposi Sarcoma and Bladder Cancer. And the big 5 cancers affecting women in SA are; Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Uterine Cancer and Lung Cancer. When you find out that you have been diagnosed with cancer, don’t beat your self up and be stuck in the “why me” stage. You will drive yourself crazy and end up hurting yourself. Just know that you’re not alone. In the beginning just like anything else when the unexpected happens, you will feel angry, sad, alone and fearful. It’s not easy to think clearly when you’re given that kind of news. Unfortunately, you have a lot of time to think about it. Get support from family members and support groups. Look at cancer support groups on the net in SA, you will find the help that you need.
Change your thinking from why is it happening to me to why not me. Think positive thoughts at all times. When you read about other cancer survivors, always think “Why not me”. When you get told that some people responded well to treatment with minimal side effect, again think “Why not me”.
We need to also know that cancer can be beaten. With medical assistance family, group and community support you can overcome. There are many wonderful stories of people that have beaten cancer, a wonderful story is that of Xolani Gwala of Radio 702.
To all South Africans and the rest of the world, living with cancer might feel like it is the end of the world but we say to you it isn’t. You can beat this thing. You can win the fight. Why not you if anyone else can. Here at Mens Clinic International, our prayers and thoughts are with you during this time in your lives. Think positive and have faith in that you will come through this.
Contact us using the following options and we will get back to you, SMS ‘Help” to 32110, Send a "please call me" to 072 315 2574 or Call us on 0860 362 867, Live Chat www.menshealth.co.za.