The world lost two legendary entertainers this week: musician David Bowie and actor Alan Rickman. Both men died at the age of 69 from aggressive forms of cancer. For many of us, their passing was an “oh-no” moment typically reserved for the death of family or close friends. We took it personally.
But, there was also a moment of disbelief. Cancer. Ziggy Stardust? Professor Snape? They died of cancer? Like gorgeous Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett, the big C came to claim them. Cancer. A dreaded disease that even the most brilliant, illustrious, and wealthiest people on the planet apparently cannot overcome.
So, what is the average person’s best defense against the big C? Knowledge. In the fight against cancer, knowledge is definitely power. Knowing what is established medical advice, what is a promising homeopathic approach, and what is complete bunk foisted on frightened people by opportunists marketing the miracle cure. Educate yourself. Empower yourself.
The American Cancer Society sponsors a website where we can learn about cancer: what causes it and what we can do to better our chances of preventing it. It has in-depth information about specific types of cancer and treatment options. It also promotes ongoing research. While there is still a lot we don’t know, the progress being made in medical science is saving countless lives.
Certainly, if you are a cancer survivor, consider joining the online community sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Post your story at csn.cancer.org or join a support group to encourage others who are facing the fight of their lives.
While no one wants to think about something as devastating as cancer, the reality is that it touches everyone in some way. If only as tangentially as the death of two famous entertainers who gave us music, laughter, style, magic, and above all, words to help us describe the human condition. Godspeed, gentlemen. You will be missed. And big C, if you’re listening, you’ve taken enough. We’re coming to stop you.
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