Thursday, June 9, 2011

What is cancer? Why do I care? What can you do?

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease that starts in our cells. Our bodies are made up of millions of cells, grouped together to form tissues and organs such as muscles and bones, the lungs and the liver. Genes inside each cell order it to grow, work, reproduce and die. Normally, our cells obey these orders and we remain healthy. But sometimes the instructions get mixed up, causing the cells to form lumps or tumours, or spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

Tumours can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumour cells stay in one place in the body and are not usually life-threatening.

Malignant tumour cells are able to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body are called metastases.

Read more:

Why do I care?

I have always donated to cancer charities because I knew several friends who had struggled with this horrible disease. 

Over the past year I have watched my mother fight and ultimately defeat breast cancer.  Before this events, fighting cancer was something I didn't really understand the same way that I do now. I can't get over the strength and bravery cancer patients must have and I am in awe.

And then I had a scare of my own.  Two mammograms and one ultrasound later I was reassured the lump was a benign cyst.  I have to go back in 6 months for another ultrasound.

Participating in the 12-hour Relay for Life with my wacky friends is the least I can do to help spread the message and raise some funds.

What can you do?

Please sponsor me in the Relay for Life.  My goal is $300. but so far Mom and I have raised only 1/3 of that goal and the relay is tomorrow night!  Please go to the Relay website and sponsor me or drop your donation off to Mom before 7 pm Friday.  I bet you can find us at the Relay after 7 pm if you would like to donate then.  The name of our group is the Pink Scrappers (of course).