A recent CNN news story announced that “in 16 years, cancer will become the leading cause of death in the U.S., surpassing heart disease.”
The story was based on a report released from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. That report said, “The number of new cancer cases is expected to increase nearly 45 percent by 2030, from 1.6 million cases to 2.3 million cases annually.” The incidence of new cancer cases in baby boomers is even more significant and expected to increase at a rate of 67 percent in that same time period.
We are less than three months into the year and my life has been touched twice by cancer already. A close friend lost a short battle with lung cancer in January, much too young at 63. The next day, the significant other of my sister, 57, was diagnosed with throat cancer. There are not too many weeks that go by for me, and for most baby boomers, without news of someone “our age” getting a cancer diagnosis. It has become a part of our day-to-day living. We feel for them and for the families and loved ones, whose own lives become forever changed by a cancer diagnosis.
You can read a first-person account, written by Kathy Eliscu, of her experience with her husband’s cancer (page 4). Kathy is strong and brave, and I think her honest approach to talking about her experience is helpful. I applaud Kathy, I empathize with her, and I understand both her pain and frustration. And if you have been through or near this experience, you will, too.
You will also meet John Nappi, 66, living with stage 4 colon cancer (page 7). John has one clear message for all of us: Get screened. So many of us and/or people we know make excuses, just like John did. He does not want others to live with the same consequences that he is facing now. Screening is one way to detect cancer early on. There also are some things we can do every day to prevent cancer. “Good things will come to people who treat their bodies right.” This message is from Sheila Pinette of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention. See more on prevention on page 8.
Cancer, its treatment and its prevention, is a big part of our lives in the beginning of this 21st century. I hope that you find these stories and the information in this issue to be helpful, informative, humorous and inspiring.
Look for the next issue of My Generation, our Caregivers Resource Guide, in about month. In the meantime, please “like” us on Facebook and watch for updates and more from our new blog called BOOM. Find it at leehews.com/category/boom.
Lee Hews, Publisher