May is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For one of my actions in my challenge last year I learned about breast cancer and did some fundraising for the Breast Cancer Society (https://camilla4peace.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/number-66-fundraising-for-breast-cancer-awareness-and-research). For my action this week I thought I would learn more about chemotherapy, as I have heard it can be effective in treating some cancers, but can also be devastating to the body.
What I discovered
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cells which grow and divide quickly (like cancer cells, but also healthy cells that grow and divide quickly, like in the mouth, intestines and ones that make your hair grow).
Chemotherapy can be used to cure or control cancer, or ease the symptoms (e.g. reducing the size of a tumour which causes pain). I did know that there were other therapies for cancer but did not realise they are often used in conjunction with chemotherapy. I looked on the internet for natural remedies for cancer. I found a lot of positive testimonials for many different herbal medicines, though struggled to find resources that backed these up with peer-reviewed scientific studies. It seemed many reputable cancer organisations said there was a need for greater research in to natural/herbal therapies, though it did not seem that they were willing to carry out many/any of these studies.
I organised a ‘Pink Ribbon Breakfast’ for my colleagues, family and associates. I raised $130 which I will be donating to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Society.