August is Organ Cancer Month

Cancer Society aims to raise awareness in the community

Dominic and Simone Ross. Simone is a kidney cancer survivor.

Certain cancers are better known than others, such as breast and stomach cancer. In order to make the public more aware of the many different types of cancers that occur in the human body – and how to recognise the early signs – the Cayman Islands Cancer Society has created an annual ‘calendar of cancers’.

August is Organ Cancer Month.

Organ cancers include kidney, liver and pancreatic cancer. Kidney cancer, for example, is the seventh-most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, with around 36 new cancers being diagnosed a day (Cancer Research UK statistics 2017).

The average age that adults are diagnosed with this cancer is 64, and it is rare in those under 45. It is twice as common in men than women. Exact statistics for the Cayman Islands are unknown, but are estimated to be similar.

If the cancer is still small and has not spread beyond the kidney, surgery can often cure it. A cure is not usually possible if the cancer has spread beyond the kidney, although treatment can sometimes help keep it under control. Some people become unwell quickly, while others may live for many years and feel well despite having kidney cancer.

Simone Ross is a kidney cancer survivor. “I was very lucky that my cancer was contained to my left kidney so a full removal of the kidney was all the treatment I needed, other than surveillance scans and kidney functions every six months,” Ross said. “My journey lead me to discover a more positive, natural and active me. I was 41 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage 2, Grade 3 Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (Kidney Cancer).”

Please consult with your doctor if you think you have kidney cancer. They will ask about your symptoms and will examine your body to check general signs of health, which will include checking for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.

Essentially, keeping to a healthy weight with good eating habits that include plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains; limited red and processed meats, sugary drinks and highly processed foods; plus maintaining a healthy blood pressure and not smoking (avoiding all tobacco products), are the best ways to reduce your chances of getting kidney cancer.

Calendar of cancers

·         February – World Cancer Awareness Month

·         March – Gynaecological cancers

·         April – Gastrointestinal cancers

·         May – Respiratory tract cancers

·         June – Skin cancer

·         July – Skin cancer and general cancer inforemation

·         August – Organ cancers (kidney, liver, and pancreas)

·         September – Children’s cancer

·         October – Breast cancer

·         November – ‘Movember’ – prostate, testicular and colon cancers

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