Good afternoon residents of Balle Cara – ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you all now to take a moment, clear your minds of any distracting thoughts and see if you can picture this scenario as I describe it.
Consider this – You wake up one fine summer’s morning, as you would usually do. Today however, you’re feeling ever so mildly ill. Almost immediately you realise that cause of this, you’re red with sunburn.
For most of the previous day you spent enjoying yourself in the sun and did not make much of an effort to protect yourself with sun cream or a hat. So you’re are suffering from a mild sun sickness. So you decide to have a shower to freshen yourself up for the day ahead. The cool water pouring all over in the shower allows you to detect something else out of the ordinary. There’s a funny, sore feeling emitting from the far side of your left arm. So you decide to inspect the case of this ache. It’s one of your moles. A previously tiny little thing that you’ve had since you were a child. However it has gone through some significant changes since you last inspected it.
It’s gone from the small well rounded little thing to a giant, crooked shaped horrible black thing, something that looks like this (show ref.1) really hot and bumpy to touch. You don’t realise it yet, but your once friendly little mole has turned into a fully-grown melanoma, a horrible type of skin cancer. One big enough to cause you some serious harm and even eventually kill you if it’s not removed immediately.
Ok that’s enough pretending for now. Your probably thinking, this could never happen to me, I don’t have many moles, and the ones I do have are well under control.
Well I’m here to tell you today, ladies and gentlemen that even though you might think that was a pretty extreme scenario, something similar to that is very much a reality for many thousands of Australians today, and countless others around the world.
Now melanoma isn’t the only type of cancer that can seriously harm you, all cancers can, cancers like Lymphoma, stomach cancer, cancer of the pancreas, cancer of the immune system and of course there’s the very common lung cancer.
Now thousands upon thousands of people die per year in Australia alone from one sort of cancer or another and thousands of others are diagnosed with cancer. What an awful thing to be told to be your doctor: ‘Sorry but you have contracted a deadly cancer’, perhaps such a cancer that the only hope of killing it off, is chemotherapy or some horrible treatment like that. What a horrible thing to face, especially if it could have been so easily prevented. All it takes is a few precautions like, wearing sun cream and a hat while out in the sun, don’t smoke or take harmful drugs. Keep away from chemicals such as asbestos and bleach. Such chemicals induce some severe types of cancer, have regular check ups with your GP to check for anything that could be a cancer.
Remember one in three people in our world today are affected by cancer whether it be directly or indirectly, which means, they either have cancer themselves or someone who they care about has it. Take a look at these statistics, (show ref.2.1) these are the cases of deaths form several different types of cancer in Australia in one year, one year and all these people died. That’s not right. I speak to you, residents of Balle Cara in the most urgent of times. (show ref.2.2) As you can see by these statistics, as we grow older, the risk of contracting and dying from cancer becomes greater and greater.
So I urge you, visit your GP, seek help if you feel any sort of lump or odd looking mole or even if you don’t feel quite right about something, because chances are it might very well be a cancer. I also urge you to visit this web site at http://cancernet. nci. nih. gov/ for more information on the different types of cancer, with their causes, effects and means of cure and prevention. Remember prevention is better than cure.