The Cost of Not Knowing

Between the travel stories and reader’s advisories, it feels as if I’ve been gravitating away from the original mandate of this blog lately. While I love the features we’ve developed over the last few months, the primary goal of this project is to advocate for health and wellness particularly with respect to cancer prevention and early detection. So ladies and gentlemen, today’s post is going to be short and sweet: remember to get your screenings.

Last week I received a letter from the Ministry of Health and Cancer Care Ontario reminding me to schedule a screening and next Tuesday I have an appointment with my doctor to do just that. According to the information in the letter, cervical cancer will be found in 1,500 Canadian women this year alone and at least one woman will die EVERY DAY from this disease. The visit won’t be particularly fun but the cost of NOT KNOWING outweighs any discomfort that I may have. Cancer Care Ontario provides cancer screenings for people in the province and that includes cervical cancer screenings for women ages 21 to 69, breast cancer screenings for women 50 to 74, and colorectal screenings for men and women ages 50 to 74, so please take care of yourself and book an appointment with your doctor or health care provider.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to say that while cancer screenings are recommended to people of a certain age, if you don’t feel well, talk to your doctor. You know your body better than anyone. Cancer in young adults is an unfortunate reality – I’ve had friends and friends of friends confront cancer including the most recent example, someone I knew from university who was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer cancer last year (she writes about her experience here). Even if you don’t meet the age requirements, if you suspect something is wrong, be brave, ask questions, and demand answers.

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