Do Your Part in the Fight Against Cancer

Every two minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. It’s a terrible disease (or group of diseases, more accurately) that affects almost everyone at some stage in their lives. If someone doesn’t receive a cancer diagnosis themselves, they are likely to know someone who will. Many people are passionate about fighting cancer in any way they can, whether it’s through fundraising or supporting someone they know who is having treatment. But the impact of cancer is so great that you can often wonder if there is really anything you can do to make a difference. Although it might not always feel like you’re helping, there are lots of ways you can play your part in the fight against cancer.

By Rod Allday

Do the Race for Life

If you want to join in with something that helps to raise money for Cancer Research UK, Race for Life is an event that has been going on for years. This event for women is actually a series of events now, including different distances, such as 5k, 10k and a half marathon and marathon. You can also join in with a hike or a Pretty Muddy obstacle course, and even take your kids on a family 5k. You can set up an online fundraising page to get people to contribute to your fundraising efforts – no need to go around with a pen and paper anymore! The events are for ladies only, as lots of women feel more comfortable running with their own gender. But if there are any men in your life who want to do something similar, they can try something like the Boys Beating Cancer.

Join in with Other Fundraising Events

Of course, there are other fundraising events you can join in with if you want to raise some money for a cancer charity. Apart from Cancer Research UK, there’s Macmillan, Make a Wish, Breast Cancer Care, and many more. Just choose the charity you want to support and see what events they have going on. Some charities aim to research treatments and cures for cancer, while others help to support patients and their families. Some events are sporting events, but if you’re not very sporty, you can always find other things to join in with.

Create an Event of Your Own

You don’t have to look for a ready-made event if you want to do some fundraising. You can always set up your own thing if you like to be in charge. For example, Breast Cancer Care have Strawberry Tea events when you can raise money by hosting an afternoon tea. Just plan your day and invite some people to come, then have lots of fun while raising money. You don’t have to use one of the suggestions from charities, either. You can come up with your own fundraising idea, whether it’s completing a fitness challenge or hosting a party.

Donate Money

If you don’t want to commit to taking part in an event, you can just give your own money. Whenever you feel like making a contribution, you can make a one-off donation to your favourite charity. You can also set up a monthly direct debit to give a few pounds to a charity each month. It’s much easier to donate nowadays, as you can do it online or even use your phone to text a donation. You can also consider writing a donation into your will if you have one, which many people choose to do.

By maxlkt

Volunteer Your Time

As well as using your time to fundraise, you can also volunteer in a variety of ways. For example, some cancer charities have shops where you can help out as a customer service assistant, organise the stock, or write listings for online sales. Charity shops aren’t the only volunteer positions you can find. You might also want to volunteer directly with people who have cancer or their families. Some volunteer positions might involve providing people with company or helping them out with daily tasks. You could also volunteer as a fundraiser or at an event as a steward.

Fighting Cancer in Your Career

Some people want to commit their lives to helping to fight cancer. If you’re really passionate about it, you might consider dedicating your career to helping people with cancer or cancer research. For example, if you’re a qualified nurse, you could apply for a Macmillan nursing job or a job with another charity. There are lots of ways you could work for or with a cancer charity, from admin positions to shop workers. If you want to work for a charity, you might have to be patient until the right job for you comes along. But you can volunteer in the meantime, especially if you have your sights set on a particular charity.

By National Cancer Institute

Be Educated About Cancer

If you want to be able to help in the fight against cancer, being educated about the disease is a good idea. You can learn about the science and medicine aspects of cancer and how to treat it. You can also make sure you understand how it can affect people practically, emotionally and psychologically too. Cancer charities tend to have plenty to read online if you’re looking for information. You can also check out the NHS website, which can teach you about different types of cancer and treatments. You might find it interesting to look at official statistics on things like cancer rates and survival rates.

Educate Others

If you make an effort to stay educated about cancer, you can also help other people to understand the disease. You can help by correcting misconceptions or having discussions with people about cancer and its treatments. As a volunteer for a cancer charity, you might also be able to educate people about the disease. It’s important for people to understand cancer so they can help to fight it and so they can show empathy towards people who are dealing with it.

By Max Pixel

Provide Support to Someone You Know

If you know someone who has cancer, or even someone whose friend or family member is fighting it, you can help out by providing support. There are lots of things you can do for someone to help make life easier for them. You can carry out practical tasks and offer emotional support too. For example, it can help to do things like going shopping, cooking meals, cleaning, or picking up their kids. Sometimes you could just be a friendly ear or a shoulder to lean on when someone needs emotional support. However, it is important to make sure your support is welcome. It’s best to offer help before taking any action, just to make sure you’re not interfering in ways that might not be appreciated.

Take Responsibility for Your Health

Another way to help in the fight against cancer is more personal. Looking after your health is an important way to prevent cancer, as well as detect it early. Living a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent a variety of cancers, although it’s also important not to get too paranoid about what the media says can cause or prevent cancer. More importantly, you should know how to recognise the symptoms of some cancers and when you should go to the doctor for routine checkups. For example, two checks women should have are cervical smears and mammograms. These are recommended from different ages, as cervical cancer is more common for younger women, while breast cancer is more common for older women.

There are lots of ways you can join the fight against cancer. Give your time or money, or even dedicate your career to helping.


6 Simple Self-Checks for the Men in Your Lives #movember

Sponsored by Discount Supplements discount code

Cancer. It’s a horrible subject that no-one likes to talk about and from a personal point of view, it’s something which has caused great sadness in both mine and Husband’s immediate families. The thing is though, it’s one of those subjects which, scary as it is, NEEDS to be talked about because awareness is one of the biggest steps towards prevention. Breast cancer is now more treatable than ever because women are so on-the-ball when it comes to knowing the signs, and the same can be said for many of the male cancers, such as testicular cancer.

Prostate cancer is THE single most common male cancer to be diagnosed within the UK but sadly still accounts for 13% of male deaths, which is a huge number of men succumbing to the disease. There are six key signs of prostate cancer and all men should be aware of these. The lovely folk at Discount Supplements have come up with a simple infographic illustrating the six signs, which you can see below:

Cancer Infographic

Whether you’re a lover of moustaches or not, there’s absolutely NO doubt that Movember has created massive awareness of male cancers; when it started back in 2003, there were just 30 participants and it’s now estimated that 5 million men grow a muzzy for Movember each year, which is an absolutely epic number. Obviously, raising money for Movember is important too, and for those of us unable to grow a top-lip-warmer, there’s also MOVE, a chance for people to move more and raise money for essential research and treatment of male cancers. If you want to get involved and take the MOVE challenge, take a look at their site HERE.

Are you a Movember devotee who grows a moustache every year? Is your partner a participant? Have you experienced a positive effect of the increase in awareness? We’d love to hear from you so please leave us a comment below.

Anger · Cancer

EasyJet and A Matter of Human Decency

There’s a few things I can almost guarantee when I see my friend Kelly popping up on my Facebook feed. Firstly, she always looks stunning. Secondly, she always looks happy. Lastly, she’s usually with her friend Oli. Their Facebook banter never fails to amuse me and they say those hideously insulting things to each other that you could only ever say to a friend who you absolutely adore. Kelly and I went to senior school together and she’s one of the nicest people you could hope to meet and Oli means the absolute world to her.

Kelly and Oli

So, why am I telling you all this? Well, last week, Kelly told me that her beloved friend has been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment at University College Hospital London. Obviously, she’s devastated and her main concern is to see her friend well again, but she’s also on a bit of a mission at the moment. You see, Oli was due to go on holiday tomorrow and has his flights booked with Easy Jet, but the company has refused to refund him because it ‘goes against their policy’. The best they can offer him is a re-booking at a later date, and they’re failing to see the absolute ridiculousness of asking a cancer patient to know when they’re going to be well enough to go on holiday again.

To be honest, I’m sick of these companies and their ‘policies’.

EasyJet is less than 20 years old, having been founded in 1995 by the infamous Stelios and as of last year generated revenue of almost 4 and a half billion pounds and a net profit of £478 million. Pounds out of the pockets of normal, hard-working people like Oli who don’t want to pay through the nose for their holidays and in doing so have made Stelios a very, very wealthy man. Real people with real lives and real illnesses, who’ve made EasyJet what it is today.

If this was a matter of someone having a cold, or simply changing their minds, I could understand EasyJet standing fast over their decision to keep Oli’s money and I realise that in legal terms, once a purchase is made a customer has agreed to the companies terms and conditions, but what would it take to just employ a bit of common decency for a passenger, someone who SHOULD be a valued customer, in what’s probably the worst few months of his life?

But, what do EasyJet care? This is just more money in their pockets and another person screwed over. There are millions more passengers just waiting to hop on their planes because their prices are relatively low, but I guarantee you that the £500 that Oli paid for his flight is worth a hell of a lot more to him than it is to a multi-billion pound company.

I for one am disgusted and won’t be travelling by EasyJet in the future, and I hope my friends and readers also think long and hard before paying money to a company which is willing to be so heartless. I’ve never met Oli, but I want to take this opportunity to send him love and well-wishes and best of luck with his treatment, and I really hope that EasyJet think again about their unwillingness to help a poorly young man.

(If you want to find Oli on Twitter, his handle is @oliverdickson. I’m sure he’d be really grateful for some support and RT’s of his tweets to EasyJet)

Cancer · Charity · Opinion

How Poor SEO Approaches Can Damage a Brand and the Implication if That “Brand” is a Leading Cancer Charity

I don’t want this blog to turn into a long list of posts where I moan about SEOs, but I had an approach yesterday that had me bashing my head against a wall.

It started well –

“Hope you’re well. I just wanted to get in touch to ask about your policy on guest posting on Mum’s the Word. I’m working with Cancer Research UK, to build awareness of the breast cancer help and resources offered on their site. We’re doing this chiefly by putting together some informative articles on related topics and working with bloggers like yourself to publish them on selected sites around the web, and I was wondering if you’d be open to running such a post?”

Then took a rapid turn for the worse –

“I do appreciate that it’s a difficult topic, and that it’s not the sort of subject matter that you’ve typically covered on Mum’s the Word, but it’d be great to work with you on this if you would be willing to consider publishing the piece.”

See, if this SEO guy had done even a modicum of research then he’d have realised that this is EXACTLY the sort of post I publish on my blog, in fact I already have several on this very topic.

If he’d used the tiniest amount of initiative or imagination, he might’ve typed the word ‘cancer’ into the very simple and prominently placed search bar at the side of the page and come up with no less than a dozen posts around the subject.

If he’d thought to engage his, no doubt, elite search skills he’d have realised that in 2011, my Stepmum lost her battle with cancer and I spent a long time trying to get my head around it, trying to work out how to process it, how to guide my infant daughter through it all and how to get our lives back on track afterwards. He’d have seen that I now run Race for Life every year in Lorraine’s memory and that I do as much for Cancer Research as I can.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with poor marketing from this particular charity and I can’t help but wonder who makes the decisions regarding their marketing budget, given that they’re using aggressive telephone sales people and insensitive SEOs.

The sad part is, (as my friend Ruth mentioned after I shared with some blogger friends how sad I was about all of this) if they were to be a bit more sensible and use what would probably equate to a minute portion  of their marketing budget to employ bloggers to help them with their blogger outreach programme I’m 100% certain that they’d be a lot more successful and would circumvent the very real risk of alienating a lot of people.

As I pointed out in my reply to this person, just off of the top of my head I know one blogger who’s child is battling leukemia, one who’s Mum has beaten breast cancer and several others who lost friends or family to this horrible disease and I hope to goodness he hasn’t used the same approach with them that he did with me.

Over to you, Cancer Research

(I’m including follow links to the Cancer Research page in this post. Despite me criticising their approach, I think they’re a great charity and support them wholeheartedly)