World Cancer Day: How the Disease Affects Patients and Those Involved


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St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital: This is what St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital looks like as it is located in Memphis, Tennessee and doctors are continuing to do incredible work to help fight and find a cure for childhood cancer. October 10, 2012.

          World Cancer Day is an international day that is recognized on February 4 to raise awareness for cancer. This day also encourages the detection, prevention, and treatment of all types of cancer. Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, and many phenomenal doctors and scientists have been working together to continue to find a cure for different types of cancers and cancer as a whole. Although many improvements have been made in cancer research and treatment, there is still no cure. 

          With cancer being such a common diagnosis, people are most likely going to know someone who has or has had cancer and knows the journey they had to go through. 

          Assistant principal, Mrs. Bethany Gilman, has had cancer, fought it, and beat it. 

          Gilman states, “I was diagnosed in 2016 as they were doing a routine procedure they discovered that I had tumors that had gone into my lymph nodes, so that was pretty scary. The impact on my life and my family’s life is that I think we became a little more cognizant that life is fragile and to try to live each day, thinking that days have value.” 

          Being diagnosed with cancer takes a toll on health , mentally, emotionally, and especially physically. But Gilman had a strategy to help push through those dark times. 

          Gilman continues, “I try to stay positive. There is always a chance that my cancer can remerge so I meet with my oncologist still twice a year and have those appointments and look at how I’m doing, and they try to predict what are the chances that cancer could emerge and that’s pretty scary… I think just trying to stay positive and trying as much as possible to understand where other people are coming from; to be empathetic for everyone’s journey.” 

          Although many people believe that all hope is lost after such a tragic diagnosis, it is important to know that there are still plenty of things to look forward to, and as Gilman puts it, everyone has a different journey they have to follow.

          Gilman continues, “Everyone’s journey in life looks different so just like your journey in life might be different from my journey in life, just having understanding that we don’t always know what’s going on in everyone’s life is really important and having empathy for other people.” 

          To find a cure, it is important to first understand how cancer is formed. Jonathan A. Gailango is an Administrative Director of Oncology Performance Measures and Accreditation at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey and has extensive knowledge of cancer. 

          Gailango states, “Each living thing is composed of cells. When new cells are required, they are produced through cell division. Normal cell death occurs when cells age or are damaged beyond repair. New ones replace the dying cells. When cancer-causing genetic mutations disrupt normal cell division, the disease first appears.” 

          With cancer being a major cause around the world, there has been a major increase in technology to help with diagnosing and fighting cancer. 

          Gailango continues, “Immunotherapy has arrived, and it is now the standard of care. Treatments like these educate the immune system to spot and destroy cancer. Immunotherapies have shown promising results in treating some forms of cancer that have not responded to other treatments. There have been genuinely personalized CAR- therapies for leukemia and lymphoma approved by the FDA in the fast four years. Over 150 new molecular entities used to treat cancer have been approved by the FDA in the past 22 years alone.” 

          With Gailango being an oncologist, he has to deal with cancer patients, he has to have an approach to each individual one of them which can take a toll mentally and emotionally on people. 

          Gailango continues, “As a nurse who specializes in oncology can develop meaningful relationships with patients and their loved ones. One of the most effective methods of cancer prevention is educating patients and their loved ones about possible causes and diagnostic tests.”

          According to, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, ten million people die from cancer each year, almost at least one-third of all cancer deaths worldwide could have been prevented through routine screening, and early detection which is highlighting the importance of World Cancer Day’s message about awareness. 

          With cancer severely impacting thousands of peoples lives there are many organizations that help raise money to help with cancer research St. Judes Research Hospital last year received a record $2 billion dollars in donations to go towards the hospital which goes towards research and treatments of childhood cancer and is one of the most profound hospital research organizations in the world. To donate, visit St Jude’s website