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A chronic threat

Although COVID is currently front of mind, cancer remains Canada’s leading cause of death
Smithers Interior News Editorial

As tough as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, we know it will eventually end. In fact, with accelerating vaccination schedules, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

When faced with imminent threats, it is natural to let chronic threats slip from front of mind, but they remain lurking.

When it is all said and done, many of us will have been unaffected by this disease, either personally or within our familial and social circles, but how many of us can say that about cancer.

Cancer remains the leading cause of death in Canada, with more than 200,000 new cases annually and some 80,000 deaths.

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And that is with the great progress that has been made in treatment and survival rates.

In the mid-20th century, cancer of all kinds was more or less a death sentence with a net five-year survival rate of only 25 per cent.

Today, that rate is 63 per cent, and yet the diseases under the cancer umbrella still account for 30 per cent of all deaths nationally.

We have a long way to go.

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That said, we should acknowledge the amount of progress that has been made would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society and the thousands of volunteers who get out every year and fundraise to support research.

April is Cancer Awareness month and, as usual, the Daffodil Dash is on, albeit in a little different way than previous years.

Nevertheless, organizers are counting on the community to get behind a cause that will remain pertinent long after COVID is a distant memory.

And, in fact, the Dash can be seen as a bit of a respite from the pandemic with lots of great items up for grabs in the online auction and some fun family-oriented activities to participate in.

In the words of local motorcycle enthusiasts currently planning their 10th Annual Chip Run for the Smithers Community Cancer Team: [Expletive deleted] Cancer!

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