Cancer Epedemic

Feel very very sad this week after the loss of two great Giants, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both at the relatively young age of 69, with so much more to give and to live.

One wonders, when people with financial resources to obtain the best treatment, still loose their lives, is it a fait accompli?? Although I suspect they were both diagnosed at a late stage.

With cancers now affecting three out of four people in this country, and with our survival rates one of the poorest in Europe, shouldn't the government be doing more?

From what I read, much of the OC research is funded by our wonderful charities,Ovacome and Target Ovarian cancer, both of whom rely heavily on donations.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts in this

11 Replies

  • I agree with you to an extent but much depends on the type of cancer eating DB had over cancer which is very hard to treat. It also as you know depends on when cancer is discovered. I think the government can do more but most importantly I think is making sure that regular people have access to life prolonging/life improving and life saving drugs many of which the NHS won't pay for. What's the point in all the research whether government or charity funded if the drugs at the end of it aren't affordable. That's what the government can do in my opinion.

  • Hi JackieO

    The title of your post caught my eye as I have been saying to relatives and friends for quite a while that it feels like there is an epidemic of cancer . It is not because this horrible disease came to my door but it would appear that more and more are being diagnosed every day. I have been going to a support centre for the past 4 years and now it's bursting at the seams. Our government just like yours puts it down to an ageing population. I am also tired of reading that lots of cancers are caused by lifestyle choices which adds insult to injury ! Of course I realise that some cancers are caused by smoking but OC and PPC etc cannot be put down to lifestyle choices apart from reading that not having babies can be a factor. That is really laying a guilt trip on women who are unable or unwilling to have babies for various reasons.

    I really do believe that there are many environmental factors in modern life that are responsible . It is like a great big elephant in the room that nobody will admit to seeing. I know I am beginning to sound like a conspiracy theorist but how can scientists solve the great mysteries of the universe , split the atom , put men on the moon and still not get a handle on the biggest curse of our time. Has it all to do with the power of money and what would be lost to the pharmaceutical companies if a simple cure was found. I read in an old post recently that trials for aspirin as a prevention of recurrence would not be done as it would not be advantageous to these companies. I was so glad to hear President Obama putting cancer research as one of the top priorities in his State of the Union address. In our case thank God for Ovacome and Target Ovarian cancer.

    I will now climb down from my soap box and face another day of fatigue and mental stress that is relentless. I will show my best face to the world and when someone tells me how well I look I will just smile and say thank you because I know that when I want total understanding I only have to read any post on this site. God bless you all.


  • I understand how you feel. But think of all the people who didn't die because of medical advances made in treating cancer.

  • When Linda McCartney passed away I remember thinking with her diet and lifestyle and money, how nothing can really beat it. That was 1998 and I hadn't been touched by cancer then, it was the year my daughter was born. Now with four well known people in such a short space of time, Rickman, Bowie, Lemmy and Celine Dion's husband all around the same age, and all with pots of money is scary. It's a beast of a disease but although medical advances have been made we are still working with drugs from the 1970's and 80's, Cisplatin and Carboplatin. They have stood the test of time but where are the new developments really? A man can walk in space but cancer can't be cured? I do wonder where priorities lie, when it comes to money investment.

    Which sounds rather dismal but I'm having a meltdown day lol

    LA xx

  • I agree the news in depressing these days, and of course the main storyline is Cancer. This is not really helpful to any of us on here. I have often thought long and hard about outcomes for different people. I am convinced it is pure luck and nothing to do with our pockets. A sense of humour and a fighting spirit does help, please dont take it that I am saying these men did not have these qualities. To make matters worse here, we discover the CEO of the Irish Cancer Society is on a huge salary 145000 euro paand he has kindly agreed to lose 10000 of that . There is an outcry on Irish Social Media regarding the huge salary I have to admit commenting on it I feel more money should be ploughed into replacing Chemo infusion pumps, blood pressure monitors in Oncology Units rather than some one earning a huge wage, So that brings up back to priorities, there is plenty of research being done to find a cure for Cancer but nothing is being prioritised. I agree the drugs used are these for ages, even the target therapies such as Avastin are on the market for eight years in other countries so we new newer drugs and the sooner the better. So is it luck or genetics or good research or even bad research. I dont know the answer to that one.

  • Hi Ponslaw. I do agree that there have been advances in some cancers such as Breast cancer and prostate cancer. However there has been no major breakthrough in OC and PPC in 20 years. I only realised this when I was diagnosed myself and read extensively on the subject. The frightening phrase " silent killer " is still in use and there is as yet no screening test. The nearest thing to one is the CA125 which the medical profession have various opinions on and depending on where you live it will be used to check for recurrence or not as the case may be. I am sorry if I sound negative but I really want to hear that everything is being done to eradicate this dreadful disease.


  • Well, the first thing I would say is that cancer is not a description of one is a heading for hundreds of different diseases. So my point is that each person is different and each person's illness is different. Advances made in breast cancer may have applied value for other types of cancer. As for breakthroughs, sometimes the advances from the culmination of small steps over 20 years does not have the impact of one large discovery...I agree with you that so much more needs to be done

  • Dear Ponzlaw

    I am sorry that my post sounded negative but I have been thinking like that for a long time. I am not a medical or scientific expert unlike I think many people on this site. I can only speak from my own experience and from what I read . I am impressed by the depth of medical knowledge and terminology used which makes me think that a lot of the lovely women here work in the medical profession. I wish I did and then I might think before I speak . I hope I don't upset people by my posts so maybe I should stay quiet for a while ! Thank you so much for your reply with is food for thought.


  • Pleased my post gave much cause for thought and much reaction from you lovely ladies. I totally applaud and respect all your views, and Molly I did not consider your view as negative but just realistic and your thoughts from your heart.

    After all this forum is a platform for us all to air our views,seek advice and solace from each other.I think all of us at times are floundering in an ocean of information, treatment, symptons both physical and mental, and from time to time just hope for a glimmer of hope, a new treatment which may permanently eradicate this vile disease.

    May 2016 bring some good news for us all, and in the meantime may we continue to keep our spirits and strength.

    Much love Jackie O xxxx

  • Hi JackieO. Your post meant so much to me along with some other lovely ladies who replied to you . I never meant my reply to be confrontational and I worried since I wrote it that I had gone too far in my outspokenness . However as you say I spoke from the heart and that is so true. I am not changing my mind about the main points of my reply unless I have definite proof of progress . Suzuki mentioned that the Irish Cancer Society had questions to answer the public this week . I was so sickened by that too that it certainly added to my stress. Thank God for Ovacome and the people who run it along with all the lovely ladies on this site. We need each other even if sometimes I spend too long on my soap box ! Thanks again for your kind reply. It made my day.


  • Hi Molly, sorry I'm 3 days late in responding to your post. I have often wondered about cancer too, like everyone else on this forum I expect. I too hate it when they label cancer as being down to one's lifestyle. If that's the case, why do babies get cancer! I have often felt that cancer must be in everyone, it just takes something to trigger it, stress, smoking, environmental factors, whatever. But a baby with cancer cannot be explained as life style choice.

    Drugs companies like to see a profit, Aspirin will give them no profit.

    As for money, you could have all the Monday in the world but unless a pharmaceutical company has already been working on a specific drug four years its not going to buy you a cure! Just my thoughts.

    Ann xo

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