“Awareness is always key.” This is one of the most cliche line especially when it’s about health. When we are aware of a certain subject, we gain knowledge about the causes, solutions, things to avoid, and how to prevent it, etc.
Today at the Plan with Purpose Cancer Awareness Drive by FWD Philippines with the Philippine Cancer Society, it sunk into me that cancer and trying to prevent it is a big deal. This awareness event has made me realize that it is important to detect cancer and cure it before it gets worse.
As far as I’ve known, there are no cancer genes in our family line. And I’m praying no one would ever develop it. I’m thankful for it, but it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious.
Dr. Rachael Rosario, a medical expert from Philippine Cancer Society, shared an entertaining, understandable yet technical meaning of cancer and how it is developed. She explained that it can be genetic and hereditary, but it is also because of our lifestyle.
What causes Cancer?
Now I’m not gonna be the technical explainer will all the scientific terms or what because I’m not an expert on this. But below are the following information that retained in my mind and that struck me the most. I mentioned several realizations of the things that I do or situations that I’m in.
Hereditary/Genetic. We don’t really inherit cancer from our family. But we inherit a weak immune system and other diseases that might develop to cancer. That’s why it’s important to detect cancer in the early stages before it gets worse.
Lifestyle. Even though it’s not in the genes to easily develop cancer cells (if you have that type of family gene) lifestyle contributes a huge percentage especially smoking. According to the talk by Dr. Rosario and what struck me the most is that smoking can not only develops lung cancer but cancer in other parts of our body as well.
There is research that a huge percentage of cancer cases causes is because of smoking. If everyone stops smoking, almost 70% of cancer cases would decrease. Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s huge!
Food. The food we eat is a big factor as well. I realized most of the food I buy in Supermarkets every time I do groceries are contributing to triggering cancer cells. Processed foods, hotdogs, bacon, corned beef, especially Tocino. How I love Tocino.
Dr. Rosario kept on repeating that we should eat lots of green, leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole food. The wet market is a good place to buy whole foods where it’s fresh and you can actually cook it from scratch.
Environment. Even though we don’t smoke but people we are surrounded with do, we are still affected because of second-hand smoking. Pollution is also a trigger.
How to be prepared for it?
Early detection of cancer helps people be prepared for it emotionally, physically, and financially. You can take immediate actions that could cure and prevent it from becoming worse.
Dr. Rosario mentioned the stage of preventing & protecting yourself from developing cancer:
None – prevent. If you don’t have cancer yet, try your best to prevent from developing it. Live a healthy lifestyle, avoid smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke, eat your fruits! Prevent it as much as possible.
Stage 1-2: cure and prevent. Do regular check-ups, do chemotherapy. Cure it and prevent it from getting worse.
Stage 3-4: cure. Do everything in your power, money, and prayers to cure it.
Terminal: comfort. Spend time with your family/friend. Comfort them.
We, Filipinos, have this culture that we don’t do regular check-ups. We only consult the doctor when the pain is unbearable. The number one reason why we do this is because it’s expensive to go to the doctor. Money is involved when we take a visit to the doctor. Little did we realize that when the disease gets worse, it’s much more expensive to treat it!
Myra Bermejo, a financial advisor from FWD Philippines, shared her family experience when her uncle was diagnosed with cancer. She shared that they suffered financially and emotionally when they heard the news.
Her uncle’s medications cost almost a million, and they really don’t know where to look for that amount of money. She highlighted the importance of being financially prepared when these kinds of cases arrive.
Through her sharing, I realized that being protected financially would be a big help when health compromises. Because let’s admit it, it’s expensive when we get sick!
Consulting with financial advisors would educate us on how to be financially prepared with these kinds of surprises in life. But remember to consult to those who care about protection more than their commissions because that would make a big difference, service-wise.
Securing yourself health insurance would be the best gift and best preparation you could ever do in your life. Protecting yourself is also protecting your money management.