Canton woman looks to increase awareness of cancer’s many forms
Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 6:38 am

To the Editor:

Is it my imagination or is it the majority of the time that when I read an article on cancer-care it revolves around breast cancer?

There are many cancers that do not have to do with a woman and her breast. The intent of this letter is not to downplay breast cancer but to increase awareness that there are so many other cancers, not just the one that is represented by the pink ribbon that we see so often.

Why not spend as much energy on educating the public on pancreatic, lung, ovarian, colon, brain, prostate, kidney, head, neck, skin, lymphoma etc. The list could go on and on.

There is no good cancer to have, they are all devastating to the patient and family. Undergoing radiation and chemotherapy is mentally and physically taxing to all of those involved. I think the medical field needs to expand their focus and give all cancers the attention they deserve. I urge all readers to log onto the National Cancer Institute guidelines when in doubt about any decisions you are faced with. This site will educate you on any cancer you have questions about. Also included are the updated guidelines on mammography and how to avoid over diagnosis and over treatment.

There is a fact sheet that concentrates on detection and diagnosis of cancers other than breast. I am writing this letter as a Registered Nurse who has taken care of a broad spectrum of patients including many cancer patients. I have administered chemotherapy and have been with patients during their regime from start to finish. Currently I am employed as a hemodialysis nurse.

Fortunately, I have not had cancer thus far but if I did I would want a healthcare professional to inform me on how to better educate myself in regards to my own health and possibly avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Once again, all you have to do is Google National Cancer Institute. You will be surprised at what you learn. It is time to have a rainbow of colored ribbons instead of just one.

Katherine Mastro

Canton