The statistics remain grim. Cancer in the United States takes about one in four lives, on average. This year more than half a million Americans are expected to die from some form of the disease.
Few of us aren't touched by this disease in some way. Too many of us know a family member, friend or colleague who deals with some form of cancer right this very moment. Coping with cancer can be one of the most devastating ordeals a person can face in his or her life.
Yet, hope springs eternal. The 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed from 1999-2005 is now 68 percent, up from 50 percent in 1975-1977. Death rates for all kinds of cancers have dropped significantly in the last decade, thanks to advances in research and treatment.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beginning today and continuing through October, the Clarion will provide you with stories of struggle and survival, talking to your own family, friends and neighbors about living with cancer. We'll talk with health providers about their ongoing battles to hold the disease at bay, and occasionally, to even beat it back.
The fear and anxiety cancer brings is real. But there are survivors all around us. This month, let's celebrate them and pray their ranks grow.
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