Perhaps the most insidious obstacle toward HPV vaccination resides in a nasty little parenting decision. When exactly should we vaccinate our boys and girls? The answer is key, because vaccines should be applied at least six months before the first exposure to the virus.
In the imperfect communication that translates scientific findings into public pronouncements, a thin thread of an association can come off as a headline that touts a sure-fire way to prevent cancer. But associations and correlations are not definitive proof of causation.
Alex looked at me with a bit of a grin, but very seriously and said, "You should never give up, it's never good to give up." I have never heard a wiser or truer statement; instead of becoming frustrated and increasingly angry, Alex became increasingly more determined.
Few things in life seem to come easy, so of course the transition to college threw me a curve ball. A big curve ball. Cancer. One of the problems of being a young adult with cancer is that you aren't really sure if you're the supporter or the supported sometimes.
Facing the challenges and fears of this past year has brought us closer. We see each day together as a gift. Our appreciation of the simple things of life is heightened, whether it's a moment shared watching our dogs play, or the enjoyment taken in a meal before the fireplace.
Our collective global health work is not done; it is evolving, as it should, to bring new attention to the different burdens of disease in the parts of the world where all of us have a stake in reducing poverty, increasing productivity, saving lives and securing communities and societies.
One hospital stay left me confined to the walls of a very small room, no one allowed to enter without wearing a mask, gloves and a gown. But what quarantine couldn't take away was the connections I could make with my writing.
Cancer can take your strength, or your leg, or your breast, or your hope. It can also take your soul if you let it. Do whatever you have to do to keep that from happening. Get up... again, and again, and again.
The conversation with my daughter was the hardest one I've had. The topics were gut-wrenching. But shining the light on them, on this disease, on what happens next, is the only way I know to cope, to help, to keep going.
World Cancer Day is an opportunity to act on an urgent moral imperative, to challenge the assumption that cancers must remain untreated in poor countries, just as was successfully done for HIV treatment more than a decade ago.
Keeping a journal can help a cancer patient express deeply held feelings that may be too difficult to voice aloud, and help a patient to navigate a complex inner landscape that must be traveled alone. And starting a journal requires just a few minutes a day.
I fought cancer, and was fortunate to win, but I had to start over. How do I make a new plan? The uncertainty that comes with being in remission, as well as many of the financial difficulties for the future are ever-present. How do you plan for the future, when yours (like mine) is so uncertain?
It's World Cancer Day -- a moment in which we reach across borders and boundaries and unite in our shared quest to end a disease that claims the lives of nearly 8 million men, women and children every year. As somber a statistic as that is, there is cause for hope.