Louise McSharry and Tony Ward launch campaign
A new hard hitting Irish Cancer Society (ICS) campaign is urging Kildare people to get behind its efforts to beat the disease.
The ICS highlights the staggering fact that by 2020, 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime. In fact the most recent data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland shows that more than 36,500 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2013, with 1,346 cases from Kildare.
The most common cancers in the county are: non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and bowel cancer.
The “I want to Get Cancer” campaign is designed to get people talking about the disease and to highlight the supports available from the ICS, as well as the steps everyone can take to reduce their chances of developing cancer.
Over 150 people a day are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland – that’s one person every 3 minutes.
Speaking at today’s launch, ICS Head of Communications, Gráinne O’Rourke said; “By now, most of the public will have seen or heard about our “I want to Get Cancer” campaign. Some people have been startled and upset – but hearing your doctor say the words ‘you have cancer’ is far more upsetting.
“I want to Get Cancer is designed to be provocative, it has to be to save lives. For too long we have spoken about cancer in hushed tones and with a sense of fear and avoidance. Some people even think that cancer is inevitable. We want to change that. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer through lifestyle choices, and through research, early diagnosis, screening and better treatments, if you do get cancer, there is hope. At present, there are over 150,000 cancer survivors in Ireland, and that number is rising all the time.
“Thanks to advances in cancer research, 6 out of 10 cancer patients will survive to 5 years and beyond, double the survival rate of 40 years ago. While cancer is no longer a death sentence, we can’t get complacent about its devastating effects. Its physical and psychological impacts are immense but there is a lot of help and support available.
RTÉ 2fm broadcaster and cancer survivor Louise McSharry said: “Being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 31 was shocking, but it opened my eyes. A disease I had never dreamed I would experience suddenly took over my life. I quickly realised that cancer knows no boundaries – it can happen to anyone at any time.
“Everyone thinks they’re aware of cancer, but it’s often not until your life is impacted by it that you begin to pay attention to what it really means to have this terrible disease. We have to change our attitudes to cancer. We have to talk about it and raise awareness.”
To speak to a cancer nurse on any aspect of cancer contact the Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on Daffodil Centre locations and opening times email email@example.com. Visit www.cancer.ie for cancer information and support services.