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The Natural Disaster Called Cancer--An Editorial

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I don't know about the rest of you but it becomes very frustrating when our own country cannot balance its budget, spends money like drunken sailors and places the ramifications on the backs of hard working Americans. Then along come the natural disasters, earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis. I don't have an exact number on just how much the U.S. provides to other countries but I know it's quite an extraordinary figure. On top of that, we see fundraisers for the victims of these tragedies to which celebrities in particular--but others as well--contribute literally millions of dollars. Does anyone who has contributed to Haiti actually think any of that money will ever get to the people? Please!

In the meantime, there is a growing natural disaster in this country to which most are oblivious except of course those living it. It's called cancer and it can turn a person's life upside down just as fast as an earthquake or a flood. Its ramifications can leave you homeless, jobless, having to make choices between eating and obtaining often vital medications, many to alleviate agonizing pain.

Of course I see fundraisers for various cancer "research", but what about fundraisers to actually help the patients? Money to help them rebuild their lives and alleviate the near constant daily stress which only causes further deterioration of their condition, because we all know what stress does to the body and the immune system.

I'm glad Sean Penn and others think that Haiti has the potential for such vast improvements. Potential perhaps; likelihood, not so much. The American Cancer Society does not provide financial assistance*, much to the surprise of most people, instead they just give you a list of phone numbers that you can call and repeat your story to over and over again trying to receive assistance, as if that isn't traumatic. Far too many cancer organizations think that the patient's need ends when treatment ends. This couldn't be further from the truth. It actually is just the beginning for most of these folks.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.