Sunday, 12 February 2017

Educate Yourselves About CATS

 Brace yourselves people. Today's post is going to be about an extremely sensitive topic, but it's one that I'm not willing to shy away from anymore. I usually try to keep things light-hearted on my blog, even if the topic is a serious one, but this time, I'm not going to sugar coat anything and I'm going to be straight to the point. It will definitely benefit you in one way or another, I'm sure.

It breaks my heart to say this, but Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases out there, no matter what type it is. It can destroy an individual and their family, because it has the ability to completely take over their body in a matter of months. That sucks. It really, truly does.
I have known people that have battled Cancer and been given the all clear every time they have a check-up, but I have also known people that have battled Cancer, who unfortunately didn't make it through to the next year. One of those people was my beloved Grandad Barry.
Losing a loved one to this insanely cruel illness has made me feel even more passionately about preventing it from spreading for other people and finding a cure in the future than I already was before.
Now, my Grandad had lived his life. He'd experienced many years of loving, living and learning. Of course, I would do absolutely anything to have him here, where I truly believe he belongs, but I feel comfortable with the fact that he'd had such a good life. He passed away when he was 68, but I genuinely think that those were 68 years where he enjoyed living.
Some people that are diagnosed with Cancer don't even get the chance to begin living their lives.
Around 2,200 people between the ages of 15-24 are told that they have got Cancer every year. 2,200 people, just like you and I. Isn't that a statistic that's guaranteed to blow anyone's mind? Being 15 years old myself, I find that an incredibly scary thought and it's one that shocks me right to the bone, if I'm being honest with you. 2,200 lives could be turned upside down just by a professional uttering a few of those dreaded words that you so desperately want to drown out in an instant.
A large number of students and young people aren't aware of the signs and the symptoms surrounding Cancer. I'm not 100% clued up on them either, but I'm aware of the importance in finding out sooner rather than later, hence why I'm writing this blog post today to help all of you.
Cancer doesn't just come in one form. There are a variety of different types that you could have, but all of them are just as scary and just as serious. Whether it's a Brain Tumour, Cervical Cancer, Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Skin Cancer, Sarcomas, Thyroid Cancer, Breast Cancer, Testicular Cancer or any other types of Cancer they are all life-threatening if they aren't checked out and caught early on.
I understand (being a young person myself) that it's scary to think that you might have Cancer. You feel as though you still have your whole life ahead of you and that the world is quite literally your oyster. Whilst this is true in many cases and you should most definitely look to the future and enjoy every second as much as you can, time can suddenly be cut short if you don't notice any changes that could be recognised as signs or symptoms.
When you get the chance to have some privacy, perhaps when you're washing your body or getting changed, you should check yourself over to see if everything feels as you know it should do. Don't be too hard, as you may hurt yourself, but still make sure that you get a proper feel of yourself. There are many advertisements and posters floating around the internet and in public that you can have a look at if you're unsure as to what exactly it is that you're searching for. See if there are any changes with a particular part of your body. Look in the mirror and think about whether they look 'normal' or not. Do you have any lumps? Any pain? Swelling? Itching? Are you experiencing changes with your weight? Getting constant headaches? Feeling fatigued all of the time?
Regardless of whether it's a physical form of Cancer, such as breast or testicular or whether it's not necessarily to do with one major part of your body, such as skin Cancer or Lymphoma, you should still make yourself aware of the symptoms and keep check at least once a month. Talk to someone that you trust. See if they have noticed any of the differences you have. Ask them if they think you should make an appointment to see your GP. Although it's ultimately your decision, it's always good to get some support in decision making and step taking.
From the image above and the title, you may be able to tell that this is a collaborative post with The CATS Campaign. When referring to the word 'CATS', I don't actually mean it about the fluffy pet that some of you may have. It stands for Cancer Awareness In Teenagers And Young People Society.
As Cancer can be such an intimidating topic to talk about, especially when it comes to teenagers and young people, I think the CATS Campaign comes in incredibly useful, because it makes a nerve-wracking, unapproachable topic seem slightly less isolating and more approachable. If you know where to go and what to look out for, then you could potentially be saving your own life or even the life of a loved one. 9 times out of 10, it may not even be Cancer, but you don't want to risk it, because otherwise, your future could be snatched away from you in an instant.
If there's anything I haven't mentioned, which you want to find out about, you can find it on the website here. Checking out your body and your health should be something that becomes a priority. A regular priority. You may think it's scary at first, because you're questioning whether or not it means that you have Cancer, but when you think about the fact that you're potentially saving your life, it becomes much more normal than frightening.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to speak up about these things. Your health is the most important thing. Make sure that you never, ever neglect it.
Lots of love always,


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