Transcript for: Cancer 101 - Cancer Care Ontario
Hi, I’m Stan Wesley. I’ve spent my life helping people connect with things that matter. And cancer matters.
What is cancer? Let’s talk about it.
Cancer- nobody wants it. But you and I know someone who has it. What are your odds of getting cancer?
We know that about 4 Canadians in 10 develop cancer some time in their lives. Let’s change those odds for the better.Maybe you’ve been avoiding this topic— and for good reason! You don’t have a doctor, Don’t want to hear bad news, Maybe you don’t trust the medical system, Or you’re just plain scared. You’re not alone.
So what is cancer, anyway? Cancer starts small— in one cell. Your body has trillions of cells, such as bone cells, skin cells and brain cells. If a cell gets damaged, your body fixes or removes it. [Sound of cell rolling out of image "Get out of here!"]
Cancer happens when damaged cells aren’t fixed and grow out of control. [Sound of bubbles popping to create cell] There are more than 200 kinds of cancer with one thing in common: Cancer cells are bad actors.
Some clump together and form lumps or tumours. Cancer cells invade their neighbours, stopping them from working right. It can break off and spread to other parts of the body.
What damages your cells? Exposure to environmental pollutants or toxins such as smoke or alcohol, Getting too much sun and burning, [Sound of sizzling] Viruses or other diseases, Getting old, because old bodies don’t fix cells as well. People can inherit damaged cells from a parent but this is rare. Some people say, “If it happens, it happens.” But your choices do change the odds.
Cancer odds or risk factors are like the dark marbles in these jars. [Marbles being coloured in] The more you smoke, for example, the higher your chance of picking a dark marble and getting cancer. [The most dark marbles in "heavy smoker" jar]
Know the big four cancer risks. Commercial tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy eating and being overweight. Tobacco including second-hand smoke can be harmful to you and your family. Alcohol even at moderate levels can increase your risk. Even being overweight can affect your overall health. On the positive side there are things that you can do to reduce your risk and stay healthy. Respect traditional and ceremonial tobacco.
Get physically active to stay healthy. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. [Sound of person running] Eat colourful vegetables and fruit, high-fibre foods, and less red meat and processed foods- but potatoes don’t count! [Sound of person taking a bite and chewing food] [Sound of a buzzer striking through image of french fries and chips]
Now let’s turn the conversation to working with Community Health Representatives and Nurses.
Screening looks for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer before you have any symptoms. [Image of Feccal Occult Blood Test magnified on screen] And the good news— Non-Insured Health Benefits cover travel to the nearest screening centre. [Sound of car starting and horn honking]
Are you ready to start the conversation? Talk to someone you trust: a CHR, CHN, an elder, a friend or a family member who knows about cancer. Finding cancer early could save your life. For example: Treating colorectal cancer early gives you a 90% change of being cured. [Image of Feccal Occult Blood Test] If you find breast cancer early and very small, you have a good chance of being cured. [Image of a woman having a mammogram] Regular Pap tests can find cervical changes before cancer develops. [Image of a woman on an examining table]
Is fear of cancer still holding you back? Remember the good reasons for getting screened: being educated and informed, being there for your children and grandchildren, and setting a healthy example. Having peace of mind. [Sound of children laughing and playing] Let’s take charge of our health. Too many Aboriginal people aren’t getting screened or treated for cancer. Instead of sad outcomes, let's make more healthy outcomes for First Nations people with cancer.
Find out more about preventing cancer at cancercare.on.ca