There was a lot of controversy this week as The Irish Cancer Society released their ‘Get Cancer’ campaign. The first I heard of it was when someone, I actually can’t remember who, was giving out about this ad they had seen. ‘And Bridie, would ya believe they want you to get cancer’. When talking to anyone about the campaign most of the comments were of an incredulous nature. “How could they say that? That’s a terrible thing to say” But wait, we were actually talking about cancer, yapping off facts about cancer as if we had a PhD. I was having discussions with people, about the abundance of the disease all over the country, and they no longer had that ‘it won’t happen to me’ aura about them. People wanted to know more, become aware. What a change, in my eyes anyway. When people hear about someone getting cancer, they nearly mentally put themselves in their statistic group. I won’t get cancer, I’m in the 1 in 10 group with Bettie down the road and sure she has it already. It’s a little impossible to do that now. The Irish Cancer Society released that by 2020 (only three years away) 1 in 2 in Ireland will be afflicted with cancer at some point in their lives. Feck off, 1 in 2. You can’t exactly hide anymore. It’s terrifying but I find what’s more terrifying is that no one seems to care. There is nothing but news bulletins about the flu epidemic but no one seems to want to realise is that there is also an epidemic of cancer in Ireland.
4 out of 10 cancers can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, things such as not smoking, limit alcohol (people don’t WANT to acknowledge that alcohol is responsible for 7 types of cancers), healthy diet, exercise. There is such a wealthy of information on www.cancer.ie. You can learn so much from them and just become more aware. You can maybe GET CANCER a little more. You get it? GET Cancer, understand it, know it, know how to at least try to prevent it. Spread those good practises among your loved ones so their risk is reduced. Trust me lads, you are looking at the biggest “That’ll never happen to me” person you’ll ever meet. And then it happened to me. I got cancer. I was that 1 in 2. Who wants to be in my group JK JK.
In all seriousness I actually really like the provocativeness of the campaign. It has turned people’s heads. Life is to too short to be offended. Its working, that’s the main thing. A few perhaps copied and pasted facts about the recent campaign;
- There was a 280% increase in visits to our Reduce Your Risk page, which provides important information on what people can do to lessen their chances of experiencing cancer.
- Our Cancer Statistics page experienced a 127% increase in visits. The webpage provides key figures on cancer in Ireland, including the fact that 40,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
- Our Information and Support page experienced a 52% increase in visits. The webpage highlights the services we provide to cancer patients, ranging from emotional and peer support to nursing and transport services.
- Pages providing information on specific types of cancer also proved popular, with pages for skin cancer and prostate cancer experiencing increases in visits of 92% and 49% respectively.
- The nurse line has experiences a 100% increase in enquiries from members of the public.
I know we all love to give out a little, who doesn’t, but before you do just look at those statistics. They are all people who are currently researching how to change their ways. I don’t know if my cancer could have been avoided, and I know there are so many people out there who didn’t ask for it, didn’t want it, but still got it. It sucks so much. Cancer is so not fun. There are so many moments where you just want to rewind the tape and record over it, wishing to have any other reality than the hospitals, nausea, constipation, pains where you didn’t know was possible.
It breaks my heart a little to know that someone out there will be diagnosed tomorrow, the day after that, the day after that and it all could have been avoided. I would climb Mount Everest in my socks carrying Bear Grylls as he used my mop of hair as shelter if I knew that it would help prevent this rotten disease forming. Every three minutes a person is told in Ireland “You have Cancer”. Those words ring in your ears, your stomach tightens and you don’t know if you want to puke, cry, run away. Your world you know has suddenly disappeared and you have entered this dark unknown place, taking it one step at a time but always terrified you will suddenly fall into the abyss. I would do anything for no one else to ever have to experience this, but until we get the better of it, it is up to people themselves to be informed. There is no point in filling me full of healthy meals, telling me about this vegetable or that fruit that is full of antioxidants. Are you taking them too? Are you treating your body like an absolute beauty? Once again www.cancer.ie has a rake of information to help you enjoy every three minutes. If at least one person can gain from this campaign and stopped cancer in it’s tracks (if it is to be stopped), well then they have done their job.