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“Cancer patients — and those who think they might have cancer — have already faced huge challenges this year, with many worried about coming forward to their GP or going into hospital to get tests because of the risk of getting COVID-19. And, with a huge backlog of patients still waiting for screening, diagnostic tests and treatments, we fear that there will be a negative impact on cancer survival.

That’s why, today, Cancer Research UK along with 50 leaders from across the NHS and cancer community have written to the Prime Minister and First Ministers in Scotland and Wales, and First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland….”


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Today, more than ever, it is important to keep vigilant about cancer symptoms. Discovering cancer at early stages offers a better standpoint that caring for the illness when this is in an advanced phase. It is very important for all categories of cancer.

Preventing cancer when possible could be also very significant, remarkably when we are facing the restrictive conditions and access to medical care due to the pandemic. That is the reason why looking at some specific causes is relevant.

Diabetes has been identified as one condition which substantially escalates the risk of a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, and also bladder, prostate and colorectal cancer. …


Every day we have the possibility of a new start, a fresh slate where to engrave our experiences and hopes. Even if we do not think about it, every day is an opportunity as well as a renewed challenge. The challenge is to clear our minds of the previous day and make the most of each opportunity as it arises.

If you are under restrictions during the pandemic, if you are living through the turmoil of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, the need to ponder the issues surrounding the combined restricted life and illness becomes something more demanding.

Thus, what to do? …


How can we recuperate after a traumatic event like cancer, a bad accident, or a bad experience with the pandemic? How can a person convalesce their body, without paying attention to the mental and spiritual wounds that have been caused?

A programme in BBC Radio 4 , considered how the pandemic has made apparent systemic inequalities that our society has in terms of assistance, wellbeing, and self-care. Some different approaches to promote wellbeing are mentioned, from yoga and mindfulness to more commercialised activities and changes in lifestyle (Source: BBC Radio 4 (22/06/20). What do we get wrong about self-care? Analysis. Radical Self-Care. Shahidha Bari looks at the radical roots of self-care and what it tells us about how we are looking after ourselves during the current crisis. Online at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000k7k0


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The FT recently published an article titled “Change how boards work to achieve true diversity”, by Vivian Hunt (22/10/20), a senior partner at McKinsey & Company (see online at: https://www.ft.com/content/0d095d7e-7333-4614-86ff-8264ea835894 ).

The article is professionally written and supported by valid questions and information. It brings back to the table the old question about women and minorities participation and Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) at board level. It states that although companies may have acknowledged the benefits of diversity, these same companies are not yet executing it.

The discussion starts with the problem that is facing all of us, can businesses continue to behave and think as they did before the pandemic? …


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The following are quotations from different articles produced by Cancer Research UK, The Guardian and MacMillan Cancer Support:

· “Anyone can develop cancer, however, the risk of getting it increases with age. Most cases occur in middle-aged adults or older. About 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in people 55-years or older.”

· “Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases in 2021.”

· “The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.

· “Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer.”


The passing of Dame Tessa Jowell was announced on the 12th May 2018. Many tributes and articles emerged all over the place consequently. Dame Jowell seems to have been a very remarkable human being. People describe her as warm, authentic, tenacious, a good listener, a fantastic networker, inspirational, a compassionate person. …


“See every circumstance and situation (particularly those that challenge you) as a tailor-made lesson in your personal plan for self-development.” Taken from: Thought for Today. Available on line at: www.thoughtfortoday.org.uk

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Learning lessons from your experiences could be the best you can do in order to move in the right direction and to achieve what you want. For example, when having difficult conversation with your oncologist…

· Do you know what precisely you did say and do that was good and went well?

OR

· Can you point out at the reasons why the conversation did not work as appropriately as you expected? …


The BBC Today programme had a representative of a charity in cancer support this morning (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000mzqt , 30/09/20, time: 1:50:45). Related information is also contained in the article “Breast screening: One million women in UK may have missed scans”, BBC News site (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54351262).

We are facing a resurgence of the virus now, and this prospect is obviously worrying millions of people who are currently expecting cancer tests, or who are afraid that their treatment and surgery may be postponed again.

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What can these patients do? Can anything be done?

The uncertainties involved by Covit-19 may continue for a while as the trials testing vaccination and other treatments to alleviate its impact are still uncertain. …


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“One must learn to love oneself with a wholesome and healthy love, so that one can bear to be with oneself and need not roam.” F. Nietzsche. Quoted by Sally Brampton (2008). Shoot the damn dog.

May we be lacking of self-love and self-appreciation? We are not referring here to a narcissistic and selfish sort of love. Love in this context is rather a human and compassionate recognition of our own value and abilities, to help ourselves and others.

Many of us may be lacking the “training” for self-appreciation and love because we might rarely be stimulated by others to appreciate our qualities over and above our difficulties and constraints. We may have frequently been encouraged to acknowledge others’ abilities, but this encouragement may have come to represent a limiting belief on us: that others are better than we currently are or what we can ever be… We all have limitations and made mistakes, but these do not mean we are not able, talented and skilled. …

About

Dr Carolina Valiente

Specialist Cancer Coach looking after patients and caregivers

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