The term Global War on Terrorism was first coined by US President George W Bush in late September 2001. In summary it was a call to hunt out and destroy terrorism wherever it could be found. That war continues today. However, I was interested last week to hear US President Barack Obama demand that the world take action against the “cancer” of jihadist extremism. Ronald Reagan is also reported to have used the ‘cancer’ metaphor in relation to terrorism back in the eighties. It would appear that ‘terrorism’ and ‘cancer’ are bound together to some extent, well at least until one of them is defeated.
Science and medicine writers are frequent users of ‘war’ metaphors in the battle against cancer (see, I could not complete the sentence without reference to a ‘war’ word!). Some people actually disagree with the use of military language within cancer articles and presentations. They suggest the words are used in an attempt to help patients but can actually have the opposite effect. I disagree with this view, I think military language is ideal for use in this fight – see, I did it again 🙂
However, there is another global war ongoing against the very metaphor used by successive US presidents to categorise terrorism. In fact there is some research to suggest that this war began in 1971 with the signing of the National Cancer Act (Richard Nixon). Although a legislative act for the US, other nations would have taken note and reviewed their own policies and commitment. Despite growing and ageing populations, you can see from available statistics that the fight against cancer is being won. However, certain cancers still lag behind.
As you can see from my blog statistics below (please take a look!), Neuroendocrine Cancer does not appear to be unique to a single country or continent, it’s very much a global issue (or at least there are people in those countries interested in my blog!). The incidence is fairly similar across the globe from the statistics available – anything between 2 – 6 cases per 100,000 of the population – i.e. its rare!
The International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA) is the global advocate for neuroendocrine cancer patients. Online, they appear to operate under the cover of NET Cancer Day http://netcancerday.org/ They are also on Facebook and Twitter. Every year on NET Cancer day (10 Nov), their voice gets louder in support of Neuroendocrine patients. I won’t repeat any more detail here as it would be good if you would take some time out to look at their website and join them in support of the Global War on NET Cancer.
Make a note in your calendar for 10 Nov – I’ll be at home having a ‘coffee and cake’ morning and I might even invite some of you who are reading this! However, don’t forget your wallets and purses as every penny helps with the ‘fight’ 🙂