National Cancer Prevention Month takes place in February. February 2 is National Cancer Prevention Day, and February 4 is World Cancer Day, an annual event promoted by the Union for International Cancer Control.
World Cancer Day is aimed at uniting the world's population in the global fight against cancer. These observations and initiatives serve to increase awareness and empower individuals to live healthier lives.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US behind heart disease. According to the National Cancer INstitute approximately 38.4% of me and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime and in 2018 there were an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States and nearly 610,000 cancer related deaths. It is estimated that there are currently more than 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States and that number is projected to top 20.3 million by 2026. In addition to the remendous cost of human suffering caused by cancer it is estimated that over 147 billion dollars were spent on cancer related treatments in 2017 alone.
Cancer is a disease that affects the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. The goal of treatment is to cure whenever possible; and to treat aggressively when a cure is not possible. Each patient faces a unique battle based on the specific details of their disease and no two cases are the same because no two people are the same. There may come a time during this battle when the burden of continuing to attack the cancer is causing more problems than benefits. When this happens, it may make more sense to change more problems than benefits. When this happens, it may make more sense to change the focus of treatment from attacking the disease to "attacking" the symptoms. Providing comfort through the aggressive management of symptoms is the chief goal of Hospice care.
Hospice of the Valleys is a local non-profit hospice which has been serving cancer patients in our community for over 35 years. Our goal is to provide the very best quality of care to each of our patients because that is how we would want our family to be treated. We achieve this compassionate care with the help of a knowledgeable interdisciplinary team who work together with the patient and family to understand their goals of care and then develop a unique plan of care tailored to meet their specific needs. Expert physicians and nurses make home visits as needed to address physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, and difficulty breathing. Other team members including social workers assist patients and their families by providing support to manage the financial and emotional stressors often associated with cancer. Spiritual care providers are also available to participate in providing spiritual support to patients and families as requested in addition to providing bereavement care. If you would like to learn more about Hospice of the Valleys, you can check us out on the web at: hospiceofthevalleys.org; or feel free to call if you have any questions at 951-200-7800. It would be our pleasure to assist you.