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Not all cancer is black and white

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Not all cancer is black and white – some can be extremely grey

Over the last few months, I’ve seen quite a few posts entitled “Not all Cancer is pink”.  I suspect it’s a reference to the ubiquitous publicity that many women’s cancer related advocates, bloggers and organisations attract.

Those who use this phrase are perhaps concerned there is an imbalance and inherent unfairness in the distribution of support and are frustrated that their own cancer does not fare as well publicly? I share that frustration, however, I take my hat off to the battalions of advocates, bloggers and organisations who work very hard for breast and the various gyneacological cancers whether they push pink or not.

I’ve even seen this term used within my own community – ‘Not all cancer is pink, some cancers are black and white’.  This is clearly an attempt to tie in the well-known ‘pink’ to the not so well-known ‘black and white’. Notwithstanding the potential for upsetting hard-working women’s cancer organisations, I also think we might be missing a trick.  And here’s the trick which is my alternative view on where we should be focused – Not all Cancer is black and white.  As I don’t want to indulge in ‘Cancer Olympics’, I’m clearly talking about the phrase ‘black and white’ rather than the ribbon colours.

Let me explain my logic.  There are two sides to most people’s experience or perception of cancer.  Firstly, symptoms appear, a diagnosis is made, treatment is applied and if it works, the patient will hopefully go into remission after a period of time, normally 5 years.  The other side is that sadly, some people may not survive the ordeal and that even applies to certain so-called ‘pink’ cancers (metastatic breast cancer for example). Clearly there are variations of my very simple binary explanation but these two outcomes are very common scenarios.

However, many cancers (including my own Neuroendocrine Cancer) are often silent, produce vague symptoms, are difficult to diagnose, treatment plans can be a challenge, most metastatic patients and many with other stages will never really be cured and will need lifelong support (another challenge).  Clearly there are also variations on this theme but with many scenarios and different outcomes.

Not all cancer is pink, that’s true. However, not all cancer is ‘black and white’ – some can be extremely ‘grey’. This is one of the reasons why I say “Every single day is NET Cancer Day

Thanks for reading

Ronny

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5 Comments

  1. Coral says:

    I know that I do not often comment, but know that I do read and share your posts. Once again, you are spot-on in telling it like it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Márcia M R R Pires says:

    Very interesting this observation. In October in my country , Brazil , ( do not know which other more) there is a large media campaign and public health agencies about breast cancer: is the ” Pink October” . As ridiculous as it sounds, I found myself with a certain envy of patients who have cancer as reported , studied, researched . And MY rare carcinoid of the stomach with liver metastasis ?? Nobody cares? Only I have this disease then it’s my problem ?? No one bothers to search , to discover new drugs, treatments for a rare disease that does not estimable profit ???
    I know it’s pathetic, is rock bottom even envy other people’s cancer , but sometimes we feel so lonely in our misfortune that by this kind of thinking stupid torments us . Unfortunately…

    Liked by 2 people

    • ronnyallan says:

      Thank you for your comment Marcia. I share your frustration and Oct is indeed the month (the whole month) for Breast Cancer Awareness. For them this is a great thing. I do sympathise that there are not many patients in Brazil with NET Cancer (perhaps there are more but are misdiagnosed?). NET Cancer needs more awareness which is one of the reasons for my blog – for me every day is NET Cancer Day and we need to focus on the ‘grey’ aspects of our cancer as an awareness tool. I hope you will support my posts going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Tony Reynolds Blog and commented:
    I think you may be prejudiced, are you?

    Liked by 1 person

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